If you served in the U.S. military and developed a service-related health condition, you may be eligible for disability benefits. If your disability claim was denied, it is important to know you are not alone. In many cases, the Claims Examiner could have misinterpreted what you submitted, and sometimes the problem can be rectified with additional information.

The rules for challenging a disability benefits denial changed with the 2017 Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act. This act governs all disability claims the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) receives after February 19, 2019. The process provides you with alternative options for reviewing a denial and intends to expedite the process that formerly could have taken years.

These policies can be difficult to understand, especially without the help of a dedicated attorney. For assistance challenging an unfavorable decision, get in touch with a Logan veterans disability claims denial lawyer.

Why Might the VA Deny a Disability Claim?

It is essential for veterans to understand why the VA might have turned down his or her disability claim so the correct steps may be taken to reverse the decision. Roughly one-third of first-time claims are denied, often for the same few reasons. These include:

  • A failure to provide appropriate evidence that the veteran qualifies to make a claim, like providing a DD214 discharge
  • A failure to provide proof of a disability-related to exposure while serving in the military, such as proof of exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam but no proof of a disability stemming from exposure
  • Having proof of a disability, but the proof does not relate the injury to military service
  • A lack of nexus between the disability and the triggering event, such as being wounded in Iraq and later developing diabetes
  • A failure to attend the Compensation and Pension (C&P) exam by a salaried or contracted doctor for the VA

A veteran who does not follow up about his or her denial may never know if additional steps would have corrected the VA’s issue with the claim. A tenacious Logan veterans’ disability attorney will not give up if there is a way forward and will explore every avenue to get a veteran the benefits he or she deserves.

Options for Appealing a Disability Denial

The 2017 Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act offers veterans three ways to dispute a disability denial. Along with a higher-level review and supplemental claims, further rejection gives a veteran the option to take his or her case before a judge for the Board of Veterans Appeals (VBA).

Higher-Level Review

In a higher-level review, another claims examiner will take a second look at the denied claim. A veteran choosing this track might decide the first examiner did not understand the evidence, even though all necessary components were submitted. Veterans cannot submit additional evidence in a higher-level review but, if denied, could ask for a supplemental claim or judicial review.

One benefit over the old system is that the VBA’s goal is to decide on higher-level reviews within 125 days after veterans request them. The old system typically took years before a decision was rendered. Veterans or their attorneys will also be able to speak with the new reviewer to share why the claim may have merit.

Supplemental Claims

Supplemental claims ask the VBA to review the original submission and any new evidence that the first examiner did not have. The new evidence could have existed when the original claim was filed; it does not need to be newly discovered. It can be proof of the original claim or new ones that support granting benefits.

For example, a claim denied due to lack of nexus could be bolstered with new evidence from a physician that there is a connection between the disability and the injury or illness.

Board Appeal

Lastly, a veteran may have his or her appeal reviewed by a Veterans Law Judge at the Board of Veterans’ Appeals. When pursuing a board appeal, there are three options to choose from. First, a veteran may request a direct review. A hearing is not required for this option, and a judge will review all evidence that has already been submitted. Second, a veteran may present additional evidence within 90 days of the initial denial for a judge to review. The third option allows a veteran to request a hearing with a Veterans Law Judge.

A disability claims attorney in Logan can utilize higher-level reviews, board appeals, and supplemental claims to dispute denials.

A Logan Veterans Disability Claims Denial Attorney Fights for Your Benefits

Having your disability claim denied is an extremely frustrating experience, especially if the denial was due to a minor slip-up during the filing process. Disputing a denial can be highly complex, especially without the guidance of a legal professional.

A Logan veterans disability claims denial lawyer can guide you through the appeals process and help you pursue your hard-earned disability benefits. If your disability claim was denied, and you need help appealing it, contact our firm to discuss your unique case with a devoted attorney.

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