One of the frustrating aspects of applying for disability benefits is the amount of time it takes for your application to be processed. Even when you have a perfectly valid claim, you could end up waiting years before you obtain the benefits you deserve. In the meantime, medical bills continue to pile up alongside all of your other daily living expenses.
Fortunately, Congress recognized this problem and passed reform legislation in 2017 to modernize the disability appeals process. The new rules were implemented earlier this year and should reduce the bottlenecks in the system. As of February 2019, there were 400,000 appeals awaiting a decision.
The VA’s initial decision is not final. Instead, applicants have the ability to bring an appeal. Appeals serve a vital purpose in the system. Often, the person who initially reviews your claim has incomplete information or does not fully understand the evidence you have provided. As a result, your application might receive a lower rating than it deserves or might even be denied outright. On appeal, you have another chance to argue your case.
Under the recent reforms, applicants in Indiana and other states will have their choice of one of three different processes for appeal:
Applicants now face a difficult choice of which appeal to request. In some cases, the options are pretty clear-cut:
In many situations, however, it is not clear which appeal is best, so it is best to meet with an experienced Veterans Benefits attorney for review.
Applying for VA benefits can be a lengthy process, and an experienced attorney can help. At the Comerford Law Office, we represent people in Illinois and Indiana in the appeals process. We will gladly meet with you to review your case and identify the best path forward for requesting an appeal.
Please call us today to schedule a free case evaluation.
Retroactive pay regarding the failure to account for all the veteran’s medical conditions.
Military Sexual Trauma case
Disability associated with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Retroactive pay regarding a PTSD misdiagnosis.
PTSD resulting in Unemployability
Traumatic brain injury case
Wrongfully denied SSA claim
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Non-presumptive cardiac impairment linked to Agent Orange
Agent Orange exposure case that led to Parkison’s disease.
ERISA long term disability benefits.