When you file a claim for VA disability benefits, you hope that you’ll receive the financial compensation you deserve for your service to our country. What happens when your VA claim is denied? In that case, don’t lose hope; there are ways to ensure that you still get the benefits you need to pay for your medical care, mental health treatments, basic expenses and more.
It all starts with a Veterans disability claim appeal. The right VA appeal can overturn a prior VA decision and help you get benefits or a higher disability rating fast. Read on for more information about appealing denied VA benefits with the assistance of knowledgeable Veterans law attorneys.
Even if you think you’ve done everything correctly and filed your paperwork perfectly, the Department of Veterans Affairs may still deny your claim for disability compensation. Claim denial can cause you or a loved one to struggle financially.
Unfortunately, the VA may deny disability benefits on a variety of grounds and for many different reasons. Here are some of the most common reasons why you might receive a denial letter.
Regardless of the reason the VA has denied your disability claim, there are steps you can take to get them to reconsider.
There are three different ways in which you can appeal denied benefits claims. Let’s take a look at them one by one.
First, you can appeal to the VA with the Higher-Level Review Lane, the first step in the review process. This is a good choice if you don’t have any new evidence to support your claim but you still believe that the VA made an error in your initial disability benefits decision.
The Higher-Level Review Lane requires the reviewer to consider only the evidence that was already in the VA’s possession at the time of the first decision. With this lane, you or your attorney can request an informal telephone conference with the reviewer for your case to identify or explain any errors you believe are present.
Alternatively, you can use the Supplemental Claim Lane. This lane requires the VA to review new and relevant evidence associated with your claim. For example, if you can provide new evidence proving a service connection between your disability and your military service, you’ll want to use this lane, so the VA receives and incorporates the evidence into its new decision.
“New and relevant evidence” is new evidence that the VA did not possess previously or that the VA did not otherwise legally acquire. The evidence must also be relevant in that it directly substantiates your claim for benefits. Work with your Veterans disability attorney to make sure the new evidence you submit is not redundant or irrelevant to the VA’s decision.
Lastly, you can appeal directly to the Board of Veterans Appeals, where your case will be considered by a Veterans Law Judge.
Within the Board of Veterans Appeals Lane, there are three options for what type of appeal you want:
Ultimately, each lane can result in an accurate and beneficial benefits decision and a successful appeal. But it’s up to you to determine which lane will provide you with the best results.
If you don’t know which lane to choose, consider working with a knowledgeable Veterans law attorney. The right attorney can explain each appeals process’s benefits and potential downsides and help you prepare the right paperwork for whichever lane you choose.
They’ll also help to keep you informed about deadlines and filing requirements, so your claim isn’t delayed for any avoidable reason.
The VA doesn’t always agree with appeals. However, a good appeal with sufficient evidence, proper paperwork, and timely responses on your part can do a lot to help the VA see your side of the situation.
Even though the VA does not always agree with appeal requests, still worth going through the appeals process so you can get the financial benefits you deserve.
The best way to maximize the chance of success for your VA disability compensation benefits appeal is to work with a Veterans law firm like Berry Law. Knowledgeable attorneys can:
With something as important as your benefits claim appeal on the line, there’s no reason to go through this process alone, especially if your initial claim had one or more preventable errors.
Appealing denied benefits is one of the primary services we provide at Berry Law. In fact, our experienced Veterans law attorneys are well-equipped and ready to assist with the filing of your upcoming appeal.
With our help, you can make sure that your appeal is as persuasive and airtight as possible, maximizing your chances of recovering disability compensation ASAP. Contact us today to learn more with a free consultation.
Appeals Modernization | Benefits.va.gov
VA Decision Reviews And Appeals | Veterans Affairs
How to Appeal if the VA Denies You Disability Benefits | Nolo
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