Veterans who developed a disability during their military service may be eligible for VA benefits. A veteran whose disability worsened due to military service may also be eligible for benefits. These benefits provide veterans with the compensation needed to transition back into civilian life. To get this compensation, veterans must apply for benefits according to the VA claims process.
The VA Claims Process
First, you should assess your eligibility. To receive disability compensation, you must have a formal medical diagnosis. Your condition must be the result of an injury, disease or event that occurred during service.
If eligible, the next step in the VA claims process is to gather evidence. You will want to gather any relevant information or documentation. For example, VA medical records and discharge papers will help strengthen your case. Further, any statements made by family or fellow service members about your condition will help. The more evidence you have, and the stronger it is, the more likely you are to get approved.
Once you have gathered this information, you can file your claim. You can file your claim in the following ways:
- Go to your local VA regional benefit office to file your claim in person
- Send your claim in the mail
- Submit your claim online through the eBenefits website or the VA’s main website. These websites have convenient features which allow you to track the status of your claim.
What Can I Do If My VA Claim Gets Denied?
Once you have fulfilled the requirements of the VA claims process, you must wait on a decision. The VA will send you a detailed account of their decision by mail. If your claim gets denied, you can contest this decision through an appeal.
The forms required for an appeal will vary depending on the date of your denial. If your decision came before February 19, 2019, the appeals process requires that you:
- Submit a Notice of Disagreement (NOD) within one year
- Wait for a Decision Review Officer to re-examine your case and make a decision
- Continue your appeal through the Board of Veterans’ Appeals if the Decision Review Officer cannot make a decision
There are different appeals processes for claims which received a denial on or after February 19, 2019. The following are three different types of appeals available to veterans in this situation:
- Higher-Level Review. A Higher-Level Review means that your case will go to a senior reviewer. This option prohibits the submission of new evidence. However, you can speak with the reviewer on the phone to discuss the case.
- Supplemental Claim. This option allows a veteran to submit new evidence which supports their claim. However, this option is not available to veterans with a fiduciary claim, a multiple party or contested claim.
- Notice of Disagreement. This option allows a veteran to send their case to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals. You will have the option to provide new evidence and request a hearing with the judge as well. However, this option takes much longer than the other two options.
Our VA Disability Attorneys Focus on Appealing Denied Claims
There are many ways that Tucker Law Group can help veterans appeal a denied claim. Our VA disability lawyers help veterans develop strong evidence in favor of their claims. We handle all the VA paperwork and forms, like filing your intent to appeal. We fight for our clients against the VA to obtain the benefits our clients deserve.