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Obtaining benefits through Veterans Affairs (VA) disability compensation program can provide an essential portion of a former servicemember’s income. If you suffered an injury or chronic illness during your active duty service, you may be eligible to receive benefits.

However, most applicants receive denials for their claims due to a lack of service connection or if their injuries are not severe enough to warrant compensation. Still, the denial of a claim does not mean you are out of options.

All former servicemembers retain the right to challenge the VA’s decision through an appeal filed with the Board of Veterans’ Appeals, often by utilizing the help of a VA-accredited lawyer. VetLaw’s team of attorneys can work to evaluate VA’s reason for issuing you a denial, file a notice of disagreement, and submit any additional information to the Board for review.

Reasons for a Denial

Proving entitlement to service connection and obtaining benefits through the VA’s disability compensation program can be a complex and difficult task. There is a specific set of elements that an applicant must prove in order to receive compensation. Failure to prove any of the following elements could result in a denial:

  • Their condition affects the applicant’s overall quality of life
  • Their condition originated from or was worsened by active duty service
  • The applicant was discharged from the military under honorable conditions

If a veteran does receive a denial from the VA, they have one year to file an appeal. The most effective way to pursue an appeal is to send a request to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals. A skilled lawyer can evaluate your circumstances and recommend viable next steps to keep a case moving forward.

Requesting Review from the Board of Veterans’ Appeals

Filing a notice of disagreement and requesting review by the Board of Veterans’ Appeals is often the best chance for former servicemembers to receive disability benefits. However, a veteran must have a rating decision or other denial dated within the past year from their local VA office before the Board can review their case.

Under the Appeals Modernization Act, which applies to all denials issued on or after February 19, 2019, veterans may file a direct notice of disagreement on VA Form 10182, requesting review by the Board of Veterans’ Appeals. If the decision was issued prior to February 19, 2019, a legacy notice of disagreement must be filed with a local VA office first.

An optional part of an appeal to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals is a request for a hearing before a Veterans Law Judge. These hearings can take place either in person or via teleconference at a local VA office. VA also provides the option for a veteran to travel to Washington, D.C. to appear directly in front of a judge. These hearings give veterans and their legal counsel an opportunity to submit additional evidence as well as advocate for why they should receive benefits.

Ask an Attorney about Requesting a Hearing with the Board of Veterans’ Appeals

Receiving benefits after sustaining a service-related injury or illness can be vital to providing for yourself. Most veterans find that their best chance for success involves requesting a hearing before the Board of Veterans’ Appeals.

Every veteran who receives a denial for benefits has the right to ask the Board of Veterans’ Appeals to consider their case, so long as they file an appeal within a timely manner. A VA-accredited lawyer from VetLaw’s team can help you keep your case moving forward, complete necessary paperwork, discover new evidence, and advocate for your needs before a judge. Reach out to our firm today to schedule an appointment.