Many veterans sustain injuries serving their country, only to return home having physical and mental disabilities that were caused by their time in service. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides benefits of a monthly tax-free payment to veterans with disabilities.
While these benefits can be life-changing, there is no guarantee that your claim will be granted. Given the volume of claims the VA sees each year, an unfortunate number of those result in unfair denials. If your claim was denied, you can benefit from a discussion with a veterans’ disability benefits denial lawyer. Our caring team of attorneys can walk you through your options if your claim has been denied and work hard to help you secure the benefits you need.
There are countless potential excuses for a denied disability claim. However, certain reasons are more common than others. As an attorney can further explain, one of the factors that commonly lead to disability benefit denials for veterans is an alleged lack of medical evidence. A claimant must provide documentary evidence that establishes their condition to have a viable claim. As such, a failure to meet this requirement could result in denial.
Additionally, the claimant must also establish a “nexus” between the event and their current disability. This could involve a medical professional determining if the veteran’s condition is a result from their time while they served on active duty.
There are multiple deadlines that a veteran and their attorney must adhere to when appealing a disability benefits denial. The first step requires providing formal notice of an appeal. For decisions before February 19, 2019, within one year of the denial, a claimant must send a VA Form 21-0958 to the VA known as a Notice of Disagreement (NOD). This deadline is firm, meaning a late NOD will result in a denied appeal.
One possible complication is that many people apply for disability benefits on more than one basis. It is possible that the VA could deny these claims at different times, meaning a person could face more than one deadline for their NOD. Given the risks associated with failing to provide notice, it is helpful to file the NOD as early as possible. An attorney can help watch for additional denial letters and track the deadlines for each appeal.
The NOD is a formal statement letting the VA know you disagree with its decision on your disability claim. After the NOD is submitted, the VA will then issue a document known as Statement of the Case (SOC). Once the SOC is received, the claimant has 60 days to file the next appeal.
The Statement of the Case summarizes the evidence review by the VA during the decision-making process. It also outlines the basis for the denial, and the law relied on by the VA. The Statement of the Case also includes the forms needed to formalize an appeal.
The prospect of a denied claim may seem like a worst-case scenario for anyone pursuing VA disability benefits. The good news is that a denial does not mean you will never get the benefits you need. A veterans’ disability benefits denial lawyer can assist you through each step of the appeals process following a failed claim. To get started, call for a confidential case evaluation today.