It took the VA an average of 111.5 days to complete disability claims in April 2019. (For those who were wondering, that’s over 3 months.)
Since it takes so much time to process a claim, the last thing you want is to receive a denial of benefits in the mail.
Yet, you can still appeal the VA’s decision with the help of our veterans attorneys. Continue reading to learn how to file a VA disability appeal.
PLEASE READ, VERY IMPORTANT
The VA changed their appeal process on February 19, 2019. When you received your VA decision will determine the process you have to follow. We’ll outline both processes in this blog post so you can better understand your next steps.
For VA decisions you received on or after February 19, 2019:
Disagree with a VA decision? You have three options to get the VA disability benefits you deserve: 1) File a Supplemental Claim, 2) Request a Higher-Level Review, and 3) Request a Board Appeal. If one option doesn’t yield the results you want, you can pick another one. As always, our VA disability attorneys are ready to help.
You have one year from the date on your decision letter to try any of these review options. Once the deadline passes, your claim will be considered closed.
File a Supplemental Claim
Have new evidence that supports your service-connected condition? Now is the time to file a Supplemental Claim. Download and fill out. Our VA lawyers can help you file your Supplemental Claim.
Request a Higher-Level Review
During a Higher-Level Review, you won’t be able to submit new evidence. Instead, a senior reviewer will take a second look at the same evidence. They may change your decision if they find an error or have a difference in opinion. If you already had a Board Appeal, you will not be able to request a Higher-Level Review. You also cannot request a second Higher-Level Review.
Request a Board Appeal
You have the option of asking a judge in Washington, D.C. to review your case. This judge will be at the Board of Veterans’ Appeals. You may request a Board Appeal at any time. The only exception would be if you wanted one Board Appeal immediately after the other.
For VA Decisions you received before February 19, 2019:
- Hire one of our VA disability lawyers.
- File a Notice of Disagreement (NOD).
- Watch the mail.
- Return VA Form 9.
- Submit new evidence (optional).
- Wait for the Board’s decision.
Hire One of Our VA Disability Lawyers
Nonprofits that offer legal aid to veterans are often overrun and understaffed. This is why you may be better off hiring one of our VA disability lawyers in Kalamazoo, MI. Our VA lawyers handle their own caseloads so you get the attention you deserve. Call today to request a free case evaluation.
File a Notice of Disagreement
You can disagree with some or all the VA’s decision. Either way, you’ll need to file a Notice of Disagreement (NOD) within a year of the date on your claim decision letter. Schedule an appointment with one of our VA lawyers to fill out the NOD. That way, you’ll have the best chance of getting the VA to amend their initial decision. Presenting new evidence is crucial to filing a VA disability appeal.
Download and print VA Form 21-0958. Once you fill out your NOD, you’ll need to mail it to the address found on your claim decision letter. If you’re not a fan of snail mail, you could also bring it in person to your local regional office.
Watch the Mail
A Decision Review Officer will look over the evidence you presented in your NOD. If they don’t grant your appeal, they’ll send you a Statement of the Case. This outlines the Officer’s findings so you can determine what you want to do next. This doesn’t have to be the end of the road if you’re deserving of VA disability benefits. Our VA lawyers can help you determine if you want your case reviewed by the Board of Veterans’ Appeals.
Return VA Form 9
Do you disagree with the Statement of the Case? If so, ourcan help you fill out and return VA Form 9. You should have gotten a copy of this form with your Statement of the Case, but you can also download it . Fill out VA Form 9 within 60 days to continue your appeal to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals.
Submit New Evidence (Optional)
It’ll take about 12 to 18 months for the VA to process your disability appeal. During this time, you can continue submitting new evidence. For this reason, it’s a good idea to hire one of our VA disability lawyers. They’ll be able to provide their expertise so you can submit the most compelling evidence.
Need to submit new evidence after receiving your Statement of the Case? It’s not too late. The Decision Review Officer can write a Supplemental Statement of the Case after getting your new evidence. They’ll then send your case along to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals. If you gather more evidence after that, you’ll need to send it to the Board.
Wait for the Board’s Decision
The Board goes by the date on the VA Form 9 to review the oldest cases first. Yet, you can request Advanced on Docket status if you have extenuating circumstances. For example, being very ill can put you near the top of the list. If you’re over 75 years old, you’ll automatically have the Advanced on Docket status.
The Board will allow, remand, or deny your. According to the VA’s website, the Board remands at least 1 issue in about 60% of their decisions. This is why it’s so important to hire one of our VA disability attorneys to help you through the process.
Call today if the VA denied your claim for a service-connected condition. Our VA disability lawyers in Kalamazoo, MI can help you receive the benefits you deserve. To request a free case evaluation, call the VA Disability Group at (844) VET-LAWS.