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.
If you have applied for VA disability benefits and subsequently had your claim denied, then you are not alone. Each year, thousands of injured veterans file disability claims with the VA and the majority of those will come back denied on the first try. An Illinois VA appeals attorney can help ensure that all the requested information is inside your information packet and that you get the benefits you were promised when you signed up to join the armed forces.
The fact that the VA denied your claim is not unusual. Most claims are denied initially. What happens afterward determines whether or not you will get the benefits you requested.
Once you receive a denial letter, the VA will send you a form that you can file called a Notice of Disagreement. Many folks make the mistake of telling the VA where they went wrong. Remember, this is a legal document, so by stating where you disagree with the VA, you are essentially locking yourself into a position. If you need to make an argument that contradicts that position, you will not be able to.
The purpose of the Notice of Disagreement is to preserve your right to appeal. The VA will then send you an information request in the form of several large packets. It is now that you can begin discussing why the denial was invalid.
The forms that the VA sends to those who have filed a Notice of Disagreement are quite complex. The information request will require that you provide medical documentation for your disability and prove to the VA’s satisfaction that your disability prevents you from working. There is no simple way to prove this. The VA establishes disability ratings and uses the information provided by your doctors to determine how disabled you are. For that reason, this is usually when most veterans solicit the help of an Illinois VA appeals attorney.
There are two ways to appeal a VA disability denial. You can request an appeal from the Decision Review Officer (DRO) or from the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (BVA). Your lawyer can help you determine whether it is worth the time to request an appeal from the DRO.
James R. Comerford and The Comerford Law Office have helped thousands of veterans appeal VA disability benefits denials. If you have been denied benefits by the VA, you want to act quickly to preserve your right to appeal and then begin the appeals process. Call today for more details.