The majority of disabled veterans receive an initial claim denial. This does not mean that you do not have a valid disability or that you cannot collect disability benefits. What it does mean is that you will need to fight harder to show the VA office that you deserve benefits. This means building a solid case, collecting valuable evidence, and aggressively fighting the Department of Veterans Affairs’ initial denial throughout the VA appeals process.
Unfortunately, the VA appeals process is a difficult and complex process that is best handled by an experienced and skilled VA disability lawyer. At Tucker Law Group, we have what it takes to fight VA disability claim denials and successful win appeals.
In general, the most common reason you may need to appeal VA benefits are:
- The VA believes that the disability is not service-related
- The VA believes the disability rating is lower than it is
It is important to know why you received a claim denial because this will determine how long you have to file your appeal and your next steps. If you received a VA decision that is an Initial Claim Decision, Supplemental Claim Decision, or Higher Level Review Decision, you have one year to file an appeal. However, if you received a Statement of the Case, you only have 60 days to file your appeal. There are special circumstances and exemptions, though, so that is why it is so critical to discuss your case with an experienced VA appeal lawyer.
The VA Appeals Process
When you disagree with a VA decision or a denial, you can choose to file an appeal. When filing your appeal, you must choose from 3 decision review options. The VA appeals process will proceed differently depending on which decision review option you choose.
1. Filing a Supplemental Claim with New Evidence
When you choose this option, you will file a supplemental claim with new evidence attached. This evidence should be new, relevant to your case, and something that would help the VA approve your claim. When filing this claim, gathering the evidence is key to winning your appeal. You and your attorney must submit the new evidence with a completed VA Form 20-0995 to file a supplemental claim.
2. Requesting a Higher Level Review.
Once the VA has all the evidence needed to approve your claim, you may need to request a higher level review. You cannot submit any new evidence during this appeals process. You and your attorney must submit a completed VA Form 20-0096 to request a higher level review with a senior reviewer.
3. Requesting a Board Appeal.
If you disagree with the senior level’s decision, you can appeal this decision further by appealing to a Veterans Law Judge at the Board of Veterans’ Appeals in Washington, D.C. When you select this option, you can request a direct review, you can submit more evidence, or you can request a hearing. To request a board appeal, you and your attorney must submit a completed VA Form 10182.
How Can a VA Disability Lawyer Help?
When you hire a VA appeal lawyer, you can rest easier knowing that you have someone on your side who can fight for you. Your attorney will be able to build your appeal and gather the evidence necessary to win your claim. This includes working with doctors, psychologists, and vocational experts whenever necessary.
A VA disability lawyer will:
- Gather medical evidence
- Gather service-connected evidence
- File your appeal timely
- Ensure that you do not miss deadlines
- Double check calculations and backpay
- Accurately determining effective dates
- And more
Do You Have Questions? Speak to a VA Disability Lawyer at Our Law Firm Today!
At the Tucker Law Group, we can answer your questions and help you with your VA appeal. Our lawyers work quickly and efficiently to help you through the VA appeals process.
To learn more about going through the VA appeals process, give us a call. Contact our office by calling (866) 233-5044 or fill out our confidential contact form. Our injury law firm can provide legal counsel in all 50 states, as our attorneys are licensed in Florida and many federal courts around the country. We are here to help, so call us today.
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- How the VA Disability Effective Date Is Calculated and Assigned
- What Is VA Disability Back Pay and How Is It Determined?