VA disability attorneys are only allowed to provide legal assistance for a fee after an initial determination. At that point, an attorney may review the claim, determine the reason the claim was denied, and help you build a strong argument in support of a grant of compensation benefits. A significant percentage of initial claims are denied by the VA. Here is a basic overview of the VA appeals process and how a Chicago VA appeals lawyer can help you prove your claim.
After you have been sent your rating decision, you will have an opportunity to appeal the VA’s rating decision. You have three different options available to you at this juncture. You could:
File a supplemental claim – This is used to provide new or additional information that was not included in your original claim.
Request a higher-level review – This decision review process involves requesting a Decision Review Officer to review your claim. This is done if you believe your benefits decision or rating contains an error of law or fact. You are prohibited from submitting new evidence.
Pursue a board appeal – This option is most similar to the prior appeals process and involves taking your claim before the Board of Veterans Appeals. You may decide whether you wish for the Board to make a decision on the record as it stands, to submit new evidence, or to appear before a BVA Veterans Law Judge and testify regarding your claim.
No matter which decision review option you choose, it is important to have a Chicago VA disability attorney help you with this appeal. We can ensure that the right information gets to the VA in a timely manner and that they do not send your packet back over and over requesting more information.
In order to obtain compensation benefits, you must prove 1) your injury or illness was incurred or aggravated by service; 2) a current injury or illness; and 3) a connection between the two. Veterans are eligible so long as the Veteran’s discharge was under other than dishonorable conditions.
In practical terms, however, obtaining service connection and a proper rating for your claim is no easy task. In many instances, it is unclear what evidence is necessary to prove a Veteran’s claim for compensation benefits. The VA demands a lot of information while reviewing claim. Frequently, a claim is denied as a result of an unsupported medical opinion or an incomplete record. Having an attorney manage the process of building your case file improves your chances of getting a positive result more quickly.
Receiving a denial or low disability rating from the VA can be frustrating, and create financial challenges for you and your family. For help filing an appeal with the VA, call the Chicago VA appeal lawyers at The Comerford Law Office, LLC today.