What Does it Mean to Reopen a VA Claim?

A Veteran called me yesterday asking about his current claim. He said he had not heard anything about it in 3 years. So I asked if he had received a decision. He responded by stating that he did receive one three years ago, but that’s the last he hadMilitary Men heard. At that point I asked if he had appealed his decision and he responded that he did not. I viewed this as a red flag. I had to inform him that his claim had likely closed. This Veteran was not familiar with the appeals process.

Depending on what type of decision you receive, you have a certain amount of time to appeal it. If the decision is not appealed in a timely manner, the claim will then close. For example, this Veteran received his first decision from the VA. You only have one year from the date of that decision to file an appeal.  Since he did not file an appeal within that year, his claim automatically closed. If your claim is closed and you further want to pursue it, you have to file a “reopen” on the claim.  In some cases, you will have to submit new and material evidence to reopen the claim.  For an increase in a service-connected condition, you will need to file for an increase stating that your condition has worsened.

Many Veterans don’t realize our law firm can help you with reopening your claim. So many Veterans turn to Jan Dils Attorneys at Law because we have the knowledge and the ability to navigate through the VA Disability Claims process. Our friendly staff is always willing to answer any questions you may have about eligibility, so feel free to give us a call: 1-877-526-3457.Or use our online contact form.

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