Many veterans who suffer an injury or illness in defense of their country return home unable to work, which is a major reason why the VA maintains a disability benefits program. These VA benefits provide veterans monetary compensation in order to bring stability to veterans and their families. Unfortunately, many veterans are denied one or more times and may become frustrated with the VA appeals process.
Denials are very common when applying for VA disability benefits. Sometimes denials are due to a mistake or a lack of medical evidence; just as often the denial is due to a mistake made by VA. VetLaw’s team of veterans’ disability attorneys may be able to help you achieve success on an appeal and collect the benefits that you need. Once retained, a veterans’ disability benefits denial lawyer can review your file, examine the reasons for the denial of your claim, and take steps to initiate an appeal.
The VA’s disability compensation program requires that veterans meet three requirements in order to qualify for and obtain benefits. A current disability, a link or medical nexus between that disability and active duty service, and status as a veteran as defined by VA are all required in order to win your case. If VA believes you have not established any of these three things, you will receive a denial.
Overcoming the reasons stated in VA’s denial letter requires a different approach in every case. Sometimes the reasons VA lists for denying your claim are valid, but more often they can be overcome with the right approach. Since veterans may not apply for benefits until years after they leave service, especially in cases of PTSD or residuals of a TBI, confusion over when and where a specific stressor or incident in service took place may significantly delay your claim or cause an outright denial. VetLaw’s team of veterans’ disability attorneys can help review your denial letter and assist you in establishing the proper basis for an appeal.
Receiving a denial letter does not mean that a case is closed. Various timelines for appeals may apply depending on whether your case is considered part of VA’s Legacy Appeal system or whether it is covered under the Appeals Modernization Act. VetLaw’s team can review your denial letter and provide you with more information on what category you fall under as well as how to pursue an appeal.
Whether your case is considered a Legacy Appeal or it falls under the Appeals Modernization Act, we highly encourage you to appeal your denial. Our experienced team of VA-accredited attorneys can assist you with this process and provide timely and crucial assistance. All denials must be in writing and provide a justification for that decision. Sometimes the justification provided by VA is short and confusing, and veterans may be left wondering what to do next.
The last step that most veterans take in their appeal is consideration by a Veterans’ Law Judge at the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (BVA) in Washington DC. Veterans with cases under both the Legacy Appeal system and the Appeals Modernization Act are entitled to a hearing before a judge and the opportunity to have a VA-accredited attorney assist them in presenting their case. Even if the BVA denies your case, there may be other avenues for appeal or to start a Supplemental Claim. A veterans’ disability benefits denial lawyer can help guide you in the right direction no matter what stage of the process you are currently navigating.
All veterans who suffer from a current disability deserve the full amount of benefits available to them. Unfortunately, VA routinely denies these benefits, leaving veterans no choice but to either appeal that decision or give up on their claim. A veterans’ disability benefits denial lawyer can help interpret the agency’s decision, review your VA file, and determine the best path to take in order to pursue an appeal. Call today to schedule a free case review and consultation.
Attorneys at VetLaw are pleased to announce our 2019 Freedom Scholarship! This $1000 award will be given to a student who best shares their definition of freedom and how being “free” has impacted their life. The scholarship also allows students to explore what being “free” means in the 21st century. To find out more about the application process, visit our scholarship page.
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