Veterans Administration disability claims are incredibly difficult to win on the first try. Even on appeal, only about one in three claims is granted. Congress significantly revamped the appeals process through the Appeals Modernization Act (AMA) of 2017. Very few veterans may still have appeals pending in the old system, but veterans must now submit new claims through the process set up under the AMA.
A vet who has received a denial should always seek the services of an attorney if they haven’t already. An experienced veterans disability appeals attorney near you can help you build a robust case file that the Veterans Administration will be more likely to accept as the basis for a successful claim.
For a successful VA disability claim, you must prove three elements:
Denials often stem from the failure to sufficiently prove one or more of these issues to the VA. Many people need to present evidence to support their disability or inability to work, and this is best accomplished with a VA disability attorney.
Your claim might also be denied for errors on the application, failure to respond to VA requests, or other procedural issues.
The VA now follows a decision review process for its appeals. Claimants can decide to pursue a Supplemental Claim, Board Appeal, or Higher-Level Review. If one avenue is unsuccessful, you can seek an appeal through another option.
You can file a Supplemental Claim if you can present new evidence to support your eligibility for disability benefits. You might request a Higher-Level Review to have someone with additional authority review the decision on your claim. This process does not allow you to provide new evidence for their review, however.
You might request a Board of Veterans’ Appeals, which involves a Veterans Law Judge evaluating your denial. Recently, the Board has experienced significant staff increases to improve the speed of its operations. There are still legacy cases handled under the pre-AMA system. The Board works on both. The Board generally hears appeals in docket number order but can advance an individual case on the docket in unusual hardship cases.
You might receive a decision on your appeal or the reviewing party might ask for more information. Either way, your attorney will address anything necessary to forward your appeal.
The VA disability appeals process is complex, and any mistakes can jeopardize your ability to receive the benefits you need. You should never give up on seeking the benefits you deserve, as the law provides you the right to such benefits if you have a service-related disability. Contact our legal team at Comerford Law Firm so we can assess your best options for appealing a claim denial. We stand up for the rights of veterans in the Chicago area.