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 veterans’ disability and had your claim rejected, then you are not alone. Thousands of individuals who are now receiving VA benefits have had their applications come back denied on the first try. The VA protects their disability fund tenaciously from fraudulent or otherwise invalid claims. That does not mean that it is the end of the road for you. With the help of a VA benefits appeal lawyer in Chicago, you can still get the benefits you were promised under the law.
The most common reason that a claim comes back denied is that VA simply does not have enough evidence to process the claim. It is at this point that many veterans will contact an attorney. It may not always be obvious what kind of evidence the VA is requiring.
For a VA benefits claim to be accepted, a disabled veteran must prove that they have a service-related injury that prevents or impairs their ability to work. Of the elements required for a successful VA application, proving that your disability severely impairs your ability to work is the most difficult. Evidence from your doctors and, when required, vocational counselors may be necessary to prove your case.
Once you’ve received notice that your claim has been denied, you will have one year from the date on the letter to file a Notice of Disagreement (NOD). The Notice of Disagreement only has one function, which is to preserve your right to appeal. Many folks want to lecture the VA on where they went wrong, but you should know that this is a legal document, and if you commit to any one specific theory that excludes other possible arguments, you may be talking yourself into a corner. So you want to be careful with what you say.
After the VA receives your Notice of Disagreement, they will send you large packets that will need to be filled out if you want to continue. These will include a Statement of Case (SOC) and a Form 9.
Because of the complexity of the information being requested, it can be quite difficult for a layperson to complete the forms without help. Hence why many Chicago veterans choose to get the help of a VA benefits appeal lawyer to ensure the information is complete and accurate and the process is not held up any further.
Comerford Law Office helps America’s veterans navigate the VA disability benefits claims process. Call today to learn more about how we can help you get your benefits award with the least amount of hassle.