VA Disability Appeals in Connecticut

Veterans who were injured in service deserve fair compensation, but may need a VA disability attorney to help them receive the correct amount.  Connecticut is underrepresented in receiving VA disability claims.  Of the approximately 220,000 Veterans in Connecticut, roughly 11% of that group have at least one service-connected disability (trailing far behind the national average of 17%). Meanwhile, there are many more who have suffered injuries yet do not have a VA disability rating.

At Berry Law Firm we represent Veterans from coast to coast. We pursue Veterans’ disability appeals at every VA Regional Office in the United States, and take great pride in defending Veterans’ rights. If you have been denied VA benefits, or are unhappy with your rating decision, you could benefit from the help of a Connecticut VA disability attorney. Please read on to learn more about how we can help Veterans in Connecticut.

Starting a VA Claim in Connecticut

Getting started with a VA disability claim can begin from any location in the country, regardless of whether you served in that location.

You can apply directly online through the VA, or seek the help of a VSO (Veterans Service Organization).

Local VSOs in Connecticut

To get started, you need to complete VA Form 21-526EZ, or apply online through the VA eBenefits portal. If you want the VA to collect medical evidence on your behalf, you must also complete VA Forms 21-4142 and 21-4142a. Other relevant forms include VA Form 21-0781 or 21-0781a for PTSD claims, and VA Form 21-8940 and 21-4192 for Individual Unemployability (TDIU). The forms must be signed and dated, packaged with any evidence you wish for the VA to consider, and either mailed to the VA Evidence Intake Center in Janesville, Wisconsin, or faxed to the VA at the number listed on the form.

Initial claims can take a long time to process, so patience may be required.

It is important to start your claim early to establish an early effective date. Once set, the effective date will not change regardless of how long it takes to fully adjudicate a claim, which can take years. The importance of the effective date is that the Veteran should receive back pay at the monthly rate they are entitled to reaching from the final decision date all the way back to the effective date.

It is important to keep in mind that the effective date can be lost if you don’t maintain appeals for your claims. For example, if you have one year to file a notice of disagreement but miss the deadline, you may be forced to reopen your claim resulting in a new effective date. This is one reason it is so important to appeal decisions thoroughly, to keep the effective date in place and get all the compensation you are entitled to. See below for additional information about appealing VA decisions in Connecticut.

The effective date for each disability claim is independent so an early effective date for a claim based on knee pain will usually not apply to a gastrointestinal claim initially filed years later.

 

Submitting a VA Appeal in Connecticut

Despite a solid claim, the VA Regional Office may nonetheless make an improper decision for a Veteran’s initial claim. If an initial claim is denied, rated too low, or given an improper effective date, the Veteran has the right to appeal.

There are separate avenues for appeal depending on what kind of mistake the VA made. Berry Law can help you present the most compelling appeal for your case, and has achieved desired results for Veterans for decades.

We have attorneys and advocates in various locations throughout the US, but the location of your attorney does not actually impact the process because it is Federal in nature. Berry Law has helped Veterans in Connecticut, and every other state in America, along with Veterans in US territories and foreign countries.

The appeals process can be long, but as long as you have preserved your effective date by keeping appeals open, you are entitled to back pay for the whole period of the process.

The first type of appeal is usually a Notice of Disagreement (NOD). The NOD, usually due within one year of a rating decision, notifies the VA that you disagree with the decision that has been made. NODs can be as simple as filling out the form and commenting “I disagree”, or can include dozens of pages of supporting material. The Regional Office in Connecticut is located at: 555 Willard Ave. Newington, CT 06111.

The Regional Office will reply with a Statement of Case (SOC), which presents the state of the case and is sent to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (BVA). The BVA will review the material to make its own determination. If you feel that the BVA has made an incorrect ruling, the next step is to appeal to the CAVC.

If you would like help appealing a VA decision in Connecticut please reach out to us for more information and a free consultation.

 

Selecting a VA-certified Disability Appeals Attorney

Don’t assume that every Connecticut VA disability attorney is identical. if you choose to get help from an attorney for preparing and submitting your claim, you should pick one that will stick with you for the duration of your case, and who has experience with appeals at every step of the process. A lengthy history of practicing Veterans law is a good indication that a Law Firm will not abandon you in the middle of an appeals process. Beware of firms that only began practicing Veterans Law after 2007 when it became more “profitable” for them.

The hardest aspect to select for is how well your lawyer will perform when it comes to extensive research, well-structured arguments, and compelling evidence. While number of years of practice can serve as a proxy, it’s hard to gauge work product until it’s done.  Testimonials and reviews can provide additional insight that may help you determine how well the firm has done for other Veterans.

It’s also important to many Veterans to have lawyers who are themselves Veterans. Opting for a Connecticut VA appeals lawyer who has deployed or mobilized can make communicating about difficult issues easier and reduce the amount of time that you need to spend explaining how the military works. Having shared military values with your law firm can make the process more comfortable and less stressful. Will your law firm understand the intense stress of combat?

Finally, consider the values of the firm to see if they align with your own.  This is a law firm that you may be tied to for a decade so be sure that they will be a good partner.

 

Berry Law Firm: Veterans Serving Veterans

Berry Law Firm was founded in 1965 by John Stevens Berry, Sr., who spent part of his time in the Army serving in Vietnam. During a JAG tour in Vietnam, he successfully defended Green Berets against murder charges, among other courtroom victories for his fellow servicemembers, earning him significant national praise. While developing a criminal defense practice, he also represented many Veterans on a pro bono basis against the VA. His son, John S. Berry, Jr., is now the Managing Partner of the Firm, and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel from the Nebraska National Guard, where he held multiple Command positions after earlier Active Duty tours in both Bosnia and Iraq. John has helped grow the firm while keeping its roots in military work ethic and values.

In our ranks are Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force Veterans. We have lawyers from each branch, and are proud to have both Officers and Enlisted, with service ranks ranging from E2 – O6 (including an E9). Our Veterans served during every major conflict since Vietnam, and combined have earned hundreds of awards, ribbons, and commendations for their service. We also have members of the Reserves and National Guard still wearing the uniform.

John Berry received the Patriot Award from the ESGR, and the firm has been named as “Military and Veterans Law Firm of the Year” by multiple agencies.

We combine our military and legal training to assist Connecticut Veterans with their legal needs.

 

Serving Clients Throughout Connecticut

Berry Law represents Veterans throughout Connecticut, including cities such as:

  • Bridgeport
  • Stamford
  • New Haven
  • Hartford
  • Waterbury
  • Norwalk
  • Danbury
  • New Britain
  • Bristol
  • Meriden
  • Milford
  • West Haven
  • Middletown
  • Shelton
  • Norwich
  • Torrington
  • Naugatuck
  • New London
  • Ansonia
  • Derby
  • Groton

 

Resources for Veterans in Connecticut

VSOs in Connecticut

VSOs can help you with a variety of services, including filing an initial claim. The VA recognizes some VSOs as accredited to help prepare and present claims to the VA.

Local chapters in Connecticut include:

AMVETS Posts in Connecticut

  • Post CT-0001, West Haven
  • Post CT-0009, North Haven
  • Post CT-0013, Stafford Springs
  • Post CT-0018, Enfield
  • Post CT-0024, Torrington
  • Post CT-0043, Derby
  • Post CT-0050, Willimantic
  • Post CT-0083, Yalesville
  • Post CT-0911, Greenwich
  • Post CT-DEPT, Danielson

 

American Legion Posts in Connecticut

  • Post 1, Waterbury
  • Post 2, Bristol
  • Post 3, Stamford
  • Post 10, Seymour
  • Post 21, Danielson
  • Post 22, Thomaston
  • Post 23, Wethersfield
  • Post 24, Derby
  • Post 25, Beacon Falls
  • Post 26, Stafford Springs
  • Post 27, Litchfield
  • Post 28, New Hartford
  • Post 29, Greenwich
  • Post 30, New Canaan
  • Post 31, New Milford
  • Post 32, Unionville
  • Post 33, Plainville
  • Post 34, Milford
  • Post 36, Windsor Locks
  • Post 38, Torrington
  • Post 4, Norwich
  • Post 40, East Windsor
  • Post 41, Lyme
  • Post 42, Stratford
  • Post 43, Winsted
  • Post 44, Bantam
  • Post 45, Meriden
  • Post 46, Goshen
  • Post 48, Guilford
  • Post 49, Canaan
  • Post 5, Watertown
  • Post 50, Ansonia
  • Post 52, Coventry/Mansfield
  • Post 53, Farmington
  • Post 54, Colchester
  • Post 56, Glastonbury
  • Post 58, Stonington
  • Post 59, Windsor
  • Post 6, New Britain
  • Post 60, Danbury
  • Post 61, Deep River
  • Post 62, Ellington
  • Post 63, Westport
  • Post 64, East Hampton
  • Post 66, Clinton
  • Post 67, North Grosvenordale
  • Post 68, Berlin
  • Post 69, Portland
  • Post 70, Salisbury
  • Post 71, West Haven
  • Post 72, Southington
  • Post 73, Wallingford
  • Post 74, Fairfield
  • Post 75, Middletown
  • Post 76, North Haven
  • Post 77, East Hartford
  • Post 78, Ridgefield
  • Post 79, Madison
  • Post 8, Hartford
  • Post 80, Enfield
  • Post 83, Branford
  • Post 84, Simsbury
  • Post 85, Baltic
  • Post 86, Wilton
  • Post 87, Washington Depot
  • Post 88, Hamden
  • Post 89, East Haven
  • Post 9, New London
  • Post 90, Collinsville
  • Post 91, Moosup
  • Post 92, Cheshire
  • Post 94, Suffield
  • Post 95, Hebron
  • Post 96, West Hartford
  • Post 97, Chester
  • Post 98, Georgetown
  • Post 100, Bethel
  • Post 101, Somers
  • Post 102, Manchester
  • Post 103, Westbrook
  • Post 104, Taftville
  • Post 105, Cromwell
  • Post 106, Hampton
  • Post 11, Bridgeport
  • Post 111, Woodstock
  • Post 112, Montville
  • Post 113, Old Saybrook
  • Post 114, Groton
  • Post 115, Noank
  • Post 116, Bloomfield
  • Post 117, Newington
  • Post 12, Norwalk
  • Post 122, Burlington
  • Post 123, Rocky Hill
  • Post 126, Sharon
  • Post 127, Orange
  • Post 128, Niantic
  • Post 13, Putnam
  • Post 131, Hartford
  • Post 132, New Haven
  • Post 133, South Windsor
  • Post 134, Bridgeport
  • Post 135, Waterbury
  • Post 137, Harwinton
  • Post 138, Bozrah
  • Post 14, Rockville
  • Post 140, Bridgeport
  • Post 141, Trumbull
  • Post 142, Hartford
  • Post 143, Stratfield
  • Post 146, Bethlehem
  • Post 147, Southbury
  • Post 15, Jewett City
  • Post 150, Hamden
  • Post 152, Pawcatuck
  • Post 153, Kent
  • Post 154, Thompsonville
  • Post 155, Woodbury
  • Post 156, East Haddam
  • Post 159, Riverton
  • Post 16, Shelton
  • Post 160, Easton
  • Post 161, Waterford
  • Post 162, New Haven
  • Post 165, Wolcott
  • Post 167, Bridgeport
  • Post 17, Naugatuck
  • Post 173, Morris
  • Post 174, Oxford
  • Post 176, Monroe
  • Post 177, Bridgeport
  • Post 1771, Gov. Foot Guard
  • Post 18, Essex
  • Post 180, Lebanon
  • Post 182, Granby
  • Post 184, Durham
  • Post 187, Wallingford
  • Post 19, Willimantic
  • Post 192, Middlefield
  • Post 194, Prospect
  • Post 195, Oakville
  • Post 196, Milford
  • Post 197, Marlborough
  • Post 199, Plainville
  • Post 20, Terryville
  • Post 201, Avon
  • Post 202, Newtown
  • Post 203, Eastford
  • Post 204, Heritage Village
  • Post 205, Gales Ferry
  • Post 206, Middletown
  • Post 207, Middlebrook

VFW Posts in Connecticut

  • Post  10004,  Jewett City Post, Jewett City, CT
  • Post  10052,  Pvt. Lester Rochford Post, Cheshire, CT
  • Post  10059,  Trumbull Memorial Post, Trumbull, CT
  • Post  10060,  Montville Memorial Post, Uncasville, CT
  • Post  10088,  Thompson Memorial Post, Quinebaug, CT
  • Post  1009,  Bloomfield Post, Bloomfield, CT
  • Post  10112,  Cos Cob Memorial Post, Old Greenwich, CT
  • Post  10153,  Old Saybrook Memorial Post, Old Saybrook, CT
  • Post  10169,  Durham Post, Durham, CT
  • Post  10190,  Georgetown Area Memorial Post, Georgetown, CT
  • Post  10201,  Jason D. Lewis Brookfield Memorial Post 10201, Brookfield, CT
  • Post  10251,  Major Michael Donnelly Post 10251, South Windsor, CT
  • Post  10273,  Connecticut Law Enforcement Post, Bridgeport, CT
  • Post  10321,  Charles W. Wood Post, Hamden, CT
  • Post  10361,  Farmington Memorial Post, Plainville, CT
  • Post  10362,  Middlefield-Rockfall Post, Rockfall, CT
  • Post  10466,  Huntington Post, Shelton, CT
  • Post  10589,  Nathan Hale Memorial Post, Coventry, CT
  • Post  10688,  Canterbury Memorial Post, Canterbury, CT
  • Post  10689,  Ellington Memorial Post, Ellington, CT
  • Post  10690,  Higganum-Haddam Memorial Post, Higganum, CT
  • Post  10732,  Berlin Post, Berlin, CT
  • Post  12084,  Seymour Post, Seymour, CT
  • Post  12106,  Branford Memorial Post, Branford, CT
  • Post  12150,  New Haven Post, New Haven, CT
  • Post  1265,  Harley P. Chase Post, Pawcatuck, CT
  • Post  145,  Harris-Rogers Post, Bridgeport, CT
  • Post  1467,  Lyme-Old Lyme Post, Old Lyme, CT
  • Post  149,  Raymond A. Walling Post, Danbury, CT
  • Post  1523,  Albert J. Breault Post, Putnam, CT
  • Post  1607,  George Newton Post, Southbury, CT
  • Post  1672,  Andrew B. Mygatt Post, New Milford, CT
  • Post  1724,  Gold Star Post, Willimantic, CT
  • Post  1840,  Middletown Post, Middletown, CT
  • Post  189,  Murphy-Rathbun Post, New London, CT
  • Post  1926,  Metacomet Post, Simsbury, CT
  • Post  1946,  Crusader Post, Naugatuck, CT
  • Post  1979,  Wolcott Post, Wolcott, CT
  • Post  201,  Wheeler-Young Post, Waterbury, CT
  • Post  2046,  Anderson-Shea Post, Manchester, CT
  • Post  2083,  Rochambeau Elms Post 2083, East Hartford, CT
  • Post  2096,  Madison Post, Madison, CT
  • Post  2138,  Bennino-Beck Post, Rocky Hill, CT
  • Post  2212,  Frederick J. Sullivan Post, Taftville, CT
  • Post  254,  Lt. Caldwell Colt Robinson Post, Hartford, CT
  • Post  2650,  Killingly Brooklyn Memorial Post, Danielson, CT
  • Post  2774,  Salem Memorial Post, Salem, CT
  • Post  296,  Seicheprey Post, Winsted, CT
  • Post  3052,  Ridgefield Post, Ridgefield, CT
  • Post  308,  Charles Howard Peck Sr. & Jr. /Eric G Blantin Post, Newtown, CT
  • Post  3263,  Hugo A. Simonelli Post, Mystic, CT
  • Post  3272,  Gildo T. Consolini, Avon, CT
  • Post  3336,  East Haddam-Moodus Memorial Post, Moodus, CT
  • Post  399,  Joseph J. Clinton Post, Westport, CT
  • Post  4608,  A R Evans Jr & C A Lutz Sr Post, Gales Ferry, CT
  • Post  4740,  Raymond B. Mc Hugh Post, Windsor, CT
  • Post  4908,  Carroll Harrington Barber Post, East Killingly, CT
  • Post  5095,  Fowler-Dix-Park Post, East Hampton, CT
  • Post  511,  VFW 511, New Britain, CT
  • Post  5157,  Water-Oak Post, Watertown, CT
  • Post  5446,  William L. Mercier Post, Plainfield, CT
  • Post  572,  Alexander Gregorek Post, Thomaston, CT
  • Post  574,  Madeley-Roberts Post, Plainville, CT
  • Post  583,  Middlesex Post, Middletown, CT
  • Post  5849,  Kari-Hill Post, Niantic, CT
  • Post  591,  Major Raoul Lufbery Post, Wallingford, CT
  • Post  594,  VFW Post 594 Norwich CT, Norwich, CT
  • Post  597,  Comcowich-Carver Post, Derby, CT
  • Post  603,  Mulvoy-Tarlov-Aquino Post, Norwalk, CT
  • Post  6121,  Portland Post, Portland, CT
  • Post  6123,  Smalley Brothers Post, Windsor Locks, CT
  • Post  653,  Corp. Howard M. Bossa Post, New Canaan, CT
  • Post  6573,  Waterford Post, Waterford, CT
  • Post  6726,  Essex Post, Centerbrook, CT
  • Post  6851,  Couch-Pipa Post, Canaan, CT
  • Post  6933,  Darien Post, Darien, CT
  • Post  6990,  Adler-Boluck Post, Colchester, CT
  • Post  7330,  Oakville Post, Oakville, CT
  • Post  7666,  Edward A. Norton Post, Guilford, CT
  • Post  7788,  Travis C. Kitchen Post, Milford, CT
  • Post  7790,  BROOKLYN VALLEY VFW 7790, WATERBURY, CT
  • Post  8075,  Mattatuck Post, Prospect, CT
  • Post  8776,  Hebron Memorial Post, Hebron, CT
  • Post  9066,  Franklin Post, Franklin, CT
  • Post  9243,  Berkshire Post, Lakeville, CT
  • Post  935,  Bethel Post, Bethel, CT
  • Post  938,  Corporal Henry Toberman Post, Willington, CT
  • Post  9422,  West Haven Memorial Post, West Haven, CT
  • Post  9427,  Sgt. Thomas J. Nelson Jr. Post, Fairfield, CT
  • Post  9452,  Preston Post, Preston, CT
  • Post  9460,  Raymond T. Goldbach Post 100 Veterans Blvd, Stratford, CT
  • Post  9544,  Landry-Sic Post, Suffield, CT
  • Post  9617,  Springdale Post No. 9617, Stamford, CT
  • Post  9836,  Fireman 2/C Julian Rudek Post, Newington, CT
  • Post  9856,  Cornwall Post, Cornwall Bridge, CT
  • Post  9918,  Clinton Post, Clinton, CT
  • Post  9929,  Hannon-Hatch Post, West Hartford, CT
  • Post  9965,  Stanley Budleski Post, Yalesville, CT
  • Post  9990,  Stafford Post, Stafford Springs, CT

VA Facilities in Connecticut

Some of the VA locations in Connecticut are:

  • The Regional Office in Connecticut is located at: 555 Willard Ave. Newington, CT 06111
  • VA Benefits Center at U.S. Naval Submarine Base, 1 Crystal Lake Road, Groton, CT 06349
  • Intake Site at Coast Guard Academy, 15 Mohegan Ave., Munro Hall, New London, CT 06320
  • Intake Site at US Naval Submarine Base New London at Groton, Fleet and Family Support Center, Bldg. 83, Groton, CT 06349
  • West Haven VA Medical Center, 950 Campbell Ave. (BLDG 1, RM G197), West Haven, CT 06516