One of the most common questions we hear from veterans is: How long will the VA claims appeals process take? The answer depends on several factors, but the bottom line is that a good argument increases the likelihood of success at the earliest possible moment in the appeals process, which leads to getting veterans benefits faster.
When veterans initially apply for veterans disability benefits, they are often surprised by the lengthy wait before their applications are approved. Many have their applications denied, for confusing reasons.
Veterans Affairs offices across the country have long wait times before applications will be considered. In fact, wait times average over 260 days nationwide and there is a backlog of nearly 900,000 cases, according to reports. Legislators have passed new laws that are aimed at reduce this backlog.
For applicants, this means that their claim may not get the attention it deserves after the initial filing. If the claim is denied or the disability rating is inadequate, the veteran may appeal the decision and has the option of hiring a lawyer to represent him on appeal.
Some veterans are unaware that they may also challenge the disability rating that they receive in the initial Rating Decision immediately. The VA bases the amount of benefits that it will award a veteran based upon this rating. If the applicant feels that the rating percentage is inadequate for the injury, he or she can request that the VA increase the rating through a Notice of Disagreement and can also hire an attorney to assist with the process.
In other cases, many of the injuries that veterans suffer from including post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injuries or back and spinal injuries, can make it difficult to adequately diagnose the complete extent of the disability of the veteran. If these factors go unrecognized, the veteran may not receive the compensation to which he is entitled.
All of this time spent waiting can make things extremely challenging for veterans. If you are a veteran and suffered an injury due to your service, speak to an experienced veterans’ benefits attorney to understand how best to proceed. The VA claims appeals process can be a very time consuming process, and it is important to follow all of the steps properly to get the best result as soon as possible.
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