This post describes the VA disability appeals process for decisions issued prior to February 19, 2019. Decisions received after that date are subject to the new VA appeals process.
What is a VA claim and what does a Downers Grove VA claims lawyer do? Well, when you agreed to join the armed forces, the U.S. government promised you that if you were ever injured in the line of duty and could no longer perform work for which you are qualified, that they would cover you with a regular monthly stipend. This stipend provides regular non-taxable monthly payments and provides in-home nursing services or other medical necessities. If you have a service-related injury that substantially impairs your ability to work, then you are entitled to VA disability benefits.
An applicant must be able to prove that their disability is related to their military service. While that may be a simple task in some cases, like a veteran who has lost their legs in battle, it can be quite difficult in other cases, like a veteran who may have PTSD from combat. It is important to note that just because your disability is not obvious or easy to see, it does not mean that it is not compensable. The VA pays out claims related to PTSD, traumatic brain injury, hearing loss, and more.
If your application comes back rejected, do not be disappointed. The process of filing your appeal has just begun.
If your claim comes back denied, that is when you can have a VA benefits attorney step in and take over the claim. The VA will provide a reason why your claim was denied. More often than not, they simply do not have enough information to honor your claim. You will be sent a Notice of Disagreement which you must file with the VA. The Notice of Disagreement preserves your right to file an appeal. Note that you should not tell the VA why you disagree, only that you do. Information submitted to the VA can be used against you when you file your claim.
The VA expects that every applicant will meet or exceed specific criteria for disability. Each veteran is given a disability rating. If the rating is not high enough, you may be denied benefits or the benefits you do get may be reduced. The job of your VA disability lawyer is to know what the VA is looking for and coordinate with your doctors, other specialists, family and friends to get the full picture of your disability, how it impacts your life and, more specifically, your ability to work. VA disability ratings are not definitive, but they can be used to reject otherwise valid claims. Your lawyer’s job is to ensure that the VA is accurately assessing your application and to coordinate your medical care with your application.
If you have a service-related disability and your application for VA benefits has been rejected, it’s time to involve a Downers Grove VA disability attorney. Call The Comerford Law Office, LLC today to learn more about how we can help.