Should I Appeal My VA Disability Rating?

When the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) denies your disability benefits or assigns you a lower disability rating than you believe you have, you may choose to appeal the disability rating. The right to appeal is preserved through the filing of a Notice of Disagreement (NOD).

Veterans have only a limited amount of time to appeal disability ratings. Successfully appealing a rating will usually require identifying and proving errors in the VA’s decision. If you do not submit an appeal in time, then you must submit a new claim and essentially move to the back of the line.

If you need assistance appealing a VA disability rating, you need to get help from a qualified attorney as quickly as possible.

Berry Law Firm has been helping veterans since 1965. You can have our lawyers provide a thorough and honest evaluation of your case when you call us or contact us online to set up a free consultation.

Things You Must Know for Your VA Disability Rating Appeal

The first thing you have to know about a VA disability rating appeal is that you only have one year to take this action. A Notice of Disagreement is filed on VA Form 21-0958.

When it comes to proving a service-connected disability, the standard of proof is “as likely as not,” which is much less than the “preponderance of the evidence” required in most civil cases and the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard used in criminal cases.

Strengthening Your VA Disability Appeal

When you are appealing a VA decision, you should never simply submit the same evidence and hope for a better outcome the second time around. It will be imperative for you to dramatically improve the quality of the evidence you submit and also draw clear distinctions in how the evidence supports your claim.

Our lawyers can help you obtain many kinds of new evidence, including medical expert testimony and “buddy statements” from other veterans you served with. Your appeal should also be sure to include all possible secondary service-connected conditions.

Common Errors in VA Decisions That Veterans Can Appeal

Many appeals are based on VA errors. One possible error involves the VA failing to send a veteran notification of required evidence, as veterans who did not receive these notices can claim this failure damaged their claim.

There could also be issues with medical examinations, such as the VA failing to provide one. In other cases, the examination may have been inadequate or inaccurate.

How Our VA Benefits Appeals Lawyers Can Help

Do you need help appealing a VA disability rating? Contact Berry Law Firm as soon as possible to get qualified legal help from attorneys who have committed their legal careers to helping veterans seek the benefits they deserve.

John S. Berry Sr. is a Vietnam War veteran and Bronze Star recipient, while John S. Berry Jr. served as a company commander in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom and as a platoon leader in Operation Joint Forge in Bosnia.

Call us or contact us online now to take advantage of a free consultation.