If you suffered a disabling injury during your years of military service you have the right to claim benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs. If you do claim and the claim is denied, you have the right to hire a lawyer for veterans disability and appeal the decision.
There has been a great deal of media attention given to the number of claims that are denied, if your claim is one of those that is denied, it makes sense to appeal. As it stands now, appeals represent close to one third of all pending claims, of which there are well over 750,000. The numbers do not speak highly of the BVA; recent reports conclude that mistakes were found in over 70 percent of all cases that were reviewed.
What can you appeal?
You have the right to ask that the Board of Veterans Appeals review a denied claim for any reason. Perhaps part of your claim was approved but another part was not, if that is the case you can appeal that component that was not approved. If your claim was approved in its entirety but you disagree with the benefits awarded, you can appeal that as well.
The most common reasons for an appeal are:
- A claim is denied because the VA do not believe the disability is service related
- The veteran is of the opinion that the disability is worse than the rating granted by VA
The appeals process:
The first stage is to file a NOD (Notice of Disagreement) with your local VA office; you have one full year in which to do this. In return you can expect the local office to provide you with an explanation of the laws and regulations that they relied on when deciding your case.
The second stage is filing a Substantive Appeal which simply identifies the errors in the case statement and whether you wish to elevate your case to the hearing level.
The greatest majority of those veterans that appeal do so in cooperation with a lawyer for veterans disability. Although a lawyer cannot speed up the decision, he or she most certainly can ensure that your appeal is stated clearly and in the strongest possible terms. The objective is to improve your chance of being granted the benefits you deserve.
If your claim for veterans disability benefits has been denied, you can improve your chances of winning on appeal by hiring a lawyer for veterans disability. You are invited to contact Jackson & MacNichol, Attorneys at Law.