Perhaps you applied for veterans’ disability benefits and were turned down. Alternatively, the Veteran’s Administration (VA) might have approved your application, but you are unhappy with your disability rating. In these situations, you could appeal.

If you are dissatisfied with a VA decision about your disability benefits, let an experienced attorney explain your options. With sound advice from a Beckley veterans’ disability appeals lawyer, you can be more effective in convincing the VA to alter its decision.

More Information Might Change the Decision

Sometimes, a veteran’s original application lacks specific information about how his or her health condition limits the ability to earn a living or function socially. In other cases, a veteran’s condition might have worsened in the time since he or she submitted the original application. In either case, submitting a supplemental claim could convince the VA to pay benefits or raise a disability rating.

A Beckley veterans’ attorney can review the original disability claim and determine any missing information. Legal counsel can help the veteran obtain and submit supplemental information.

Supplemental Information

Supplemental information could include an updated letter from the physician who provided the original diagnosis, or the veteran might benefit from obtaining a letter from a different physician. More extensive medical records, copies of medical bills, buddy letters, and other evidence could persuade the VA to reconsider a denial or low rating. A decision on a supplemental claim usually requires about six months.

A More Experienced Reviewer Might Make a Different Decision

Sometimes, a veteran might receive a lower rating than expected or have the claim denied even if he or she submitted all the relevant information. Requesting a higher-level review could be an effective strategy in these situations. Another officer will review the original claim and could find a reason to approve the application or assign the veteran a higher disability rating.

Board of Appeals

If a supplemental claim or a request for higher-level review does not produce a satisfactory outcome, appealing to the Board of Veteran’s Appeals is an option. The Board of Appeals could make its decision on the record the VA has compiled, or the veteran has the option to request a hearing. The Board of Appeals process may take a year or more, or longer if the veteran requests a hearing.

At any stage in the appeals process, working with an attorney who handles veteran disability claims in Beckley is essential. Experience with the claims process can make a difference in the outcome of a veteran’s appeal.

Take Immediate Action to Preserve Your Effective Date

The date the VA receives a disability benefits application is the effective date of the benefits. If the VA approves benefits, the veteran will receive a lump sum of benefits retroactive to the effective date, and a monthly check after that.

If the VA denies an initial application or assigns a low disability rating, a veteran who appeals the decision within one year preserves his or her effective date. Failing to appeal within a year means the veteran must reapply and will get a later effective date. A knowledgeable local attorney can help file a veteran’s appeal within these time limits.

Consult a Beckley Attorney on Appealing a Veterans’ Disability Decision

Every veteran with a service-related health condition deserves disability benefits and an accurate disability rating. If the VA has not provided you the benefits you deserve, a Beckley veterans’ disability lawyer can help you determine what might have gone wrong and how to correct it.

Do not accept less than you deserve. Reach out today to schedule a consultation with one of our seasoned attorneys.

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