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.
The Comerford Law Office, LLC represents Valparaiso, Indiana veterans applying for VA disability benefits. While you may wonder why you need a lawyer to apply for these benefits, the VA protects the solvency of their fund against weak or meritless claims. It is, therefore, the usual course of action that applications are denied on their first try. At that point, you can have a lawyer take over your claim for you. The Comerford Law Office has helped thousands of veterans apply for (and receive) the disability benefits to which they are entitled.
Firstly, you must have served in the U.S. armed forces. Secondly, you must have sustained an injury that is the result of your service. While your injury does not have to be combat-related, it must be the result of your duties. Lastly, your injury must substantially reduce your ability to sustain gainful employment. If each of these conditions is met, then you have a valid claim.
Most of those who apply will see their applications rejected. A small few with various obvious combat-related disabilities may have their applications accepted on the first try. Normally, the VA will send you a rejection letter. This letter will contain instructions on how to proceed. You will need to fill out a Notice of Disagreement which will preserve your right to appeal the VA’s decision. Note that you should not discuss why the VA was wrong. You could be hedging yourself into a legal corner and not be able to make other, stronger arguments.
This is generally the point at which an attorney takes over the claim.
Understand that in order to receive VA disability benefits, you will need to make a legal argument using medical evidence. This is no simple task. Your attorney will work with your doctors, coordinating your care and getting key information from physicians, psychiatrists, social workers, therapists, and even friends and family to build your case. The complexity of the documents that you need to fill out is another barrier to advocating for yourself.
The Valparaiso veterans’ benefits attorney at The Comerford Law Office will coordinate between all of your health care providers and even discuss what types of work you can do with a vocational counselor. We can build an ironclad case file that ensures that your disability rating is high enough to receive benefits.
Call The Comerford Law Office, LLC today to learn more about how we can help.