Veterans can experience a wide variety of injuries, illnesses, and disabilities because of their service. Whether or not they can receive VA disability benefits for their unique needs will depend on multiple factors. Not every situation will result in a successful disability claim.
Additionally, many applicants find the process of applying for benefits exhausting and confusing. The timeline for the process can vary case-to-case, so finding information on what to do in your specific situation can be tough. If you are frustrated with the VA benefits process, our team can try to break it down for you!
The definition of a “disability” in the eyes of the VA is important to understand. They will want to know how it affects your day-to-day life and your ability to work and live comfortably. As a Veteran who might be suffering from physical or mental ailments, the last thing you need is a financial struggle on top of your current situation. However, your application could be denied because your listed disability does not qualify you for compensation. An experienced attorney can assess your eligibility so you know what your potential benefits are and what proof you need to provide. This may help prevent frustrating denials down the road.
First, you will need to file for VA disability compensation. The initial application form for you to fill out is called a VA Form 21-526ez.
Next, the Agency will review your application. You will likely need to wait at least 8-12 months on average, but eventually, you will hear back from the reviewers on whether your application has been approved or denied. If it is approved: congratulations, you’re done! However, many claims are denied upon initial consideration so don’t give up here if your application is denied. There are ways to keep going.
The VA implemented a new benefits appeals process in 2019, which allows for three options. First, you can file a supplemental claim using Form 20-0995 where you include new information that was not included in your initial application.
The second option allows you to request an application review from a more experienced reviewer at the VA. Finally, you have the right to ask a Veteran Law Judge to consider reversing your denial – and may even testify in front of them.
As you can tell from the number of forms, applications, reviews, appeals, and hearings, the process can be quite confusing, and you may not know how to put your best foot forward to have the best chance of approval. Additionally, the timeline of waiting 8-12 months on every step can be immensely frustrating.
The bottom line is, no matter how long and laborious the process seems now, you deserve compensation for your service-related disability, no matter what. It is important to find someone you can trust to guide you through every step of the process and answer any questions you have.
Our Veterans disability team works nationwide – and they only work VA claims. We know how difficult this can be and we believe it is our job to make things easier on you. Please schedule a consult and learn more about how we help Veterans get their much-needed benefits.