Military Veterans are entitled to disability benefits for their service-related injury or illness, but sometimes The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will deny a claim. In fact, it happens to about 30 percent of first-time applicants. Fortunately, you have a right to appeal your denial.
The rules concerning appeals changed for the better with the implementation of the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act (AMA), but although the appeals process is faster, many applicants still find it to be difficult to navigate. When your claim hits a roadblock, contact a Belpre Veterans’ disability benefits denial lawyer.
To file a successful appeal, Veterans need to know why the VA turned down a claim and how to rectify the situation. Some denials are more common than others, including:
These common reasons for denial can potentially be cleared up on appeal. Veterans have three ways to appeal a denial. A Veterans’ disability benefits denial attorney in Belpre can determine which appeal has the best chance of success depending on the specifics of a case.
Veterans can submit additional evidence to support a claim on appeal or at any time the VA is reviewing a claim. The supplemental claim can include newly discovered or existing evidence. For instance, discharge papers are existing evidence that a Veteran might not have initially included with a claim. In contrast, a physician’s second opinion that an illness is service connected can be considered as new evidence.
Servicemembers can ask for a higher-level review with the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (BVA). Although no additional evidence is permitted, if the appeal follows a denial of a supplemental claim, both the original and supplemental claim will be considered. The servicemember or their VA-accredited attorney can schedule a conference with a BVA claims examiner who is more experienced than the examiner who initially denied the claim. The BVA may also ask the Veteran to submit to further medical testing by a VA doctor.
Veterans can also ask for a Board Appeal through the BVA, whether the appeal is for the original claim, a Supplemental Claim, or for a Higher-Level Review denial. Veterans have three options for Board Appeals.
The Direct Review is conducted by a Veterans Law Judge, who will consider all information previously submitted and render a decision based on it. This is like a Higher-Level Review, except by a judge instead of an experienced claims administrator.
Veterans with additional information supporting their claims can choose to submit it for a Veterans Law Judge to consider, much like a Supplemental Claim.
Service members can also ask for an in-person or virtual hearing with a Veterans Law Judge. Veterans or their attorneys can discuss a case and better understand how the judge determines benefits eligibility.
Additionally, Veterans whose claims were filed and denied prior to the AMA’s implementation can file Legacy Appeals. Through this, they can challenge a denial through the old process or through the current, more expedient one.
Veterans who suffer military service-related injuries or illnesses have a right to disability benefits that include a tax-free check each month. The numerous forms and notices, meetings, deadlines, questions, and searches for evidence can be a difficult and tiring sequence.
You do not have to do this alone. We are VA-accredited attorneys who only file, defend, and appeal Veterans’ disability claims. We can do it for you too. Your military service means a lot to us and a Belpre Veterans’ disability benefits denial lawyer can fight for what you are owed.