NOTE: As of February 14, 2019, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs discontinued VA Forms 21-526 and 21-526B. To request a reconsideration of your disability rating, you’ll need to instead fill out VA Form 21-526EZ.
If your service connected condition has worsened over time, you may need to ask the VA to increase your disability rating. However, it’s important that you understand all that’s involved with increasing your VA disability rating. Any time you request the VA to re-evaluate your disability rating, there’s a chance they could reduce or even take away your benefits.
Continue reading to learn how to increase your Kalamazoo, MI VA lawyers.and why you’ll need the help of our
Steps to increase your:
- Know what to expect before requesting an increase
- Determine what requests you’ll need to make
- Gather medical evidence
- Fill out VA Form 21-526EZ
- Appeal the VA’s decision if necessary
Know What to Expect Before Requesting an Increase
It’s important to understand that when you ask the VA to re-evaluate your disability rating, there’s always the risk they could reduce or even take away your benefits. For this reason, we recommend you consult with one of our VA disability lawyers in Kalamazoo, MI before asking the VA to increase your rating. We’ll be able to determine whether you have a case for increasing your VA disability rating based on recent medical evidence.
The VA will only increase your disability rating if your service connected condition has worsened over time. Many veterans make the mistake of asking for an increase to their VA disability rating because they need more money, not because their disability worsened. Our VA disability attorneys will be able to help you compare your condition with the VA’s Schedule of Ratings. We can also get you in touch with a doctor who performs Independent Medical Exams (IME).
Determine What Requests You’ll Need to Make
You’ll need to request a reconsideration from the VA if it’s been more than a year since you were awarded VA disability benefits. Our lawyers will be able to help you fill out VA Form 21-526EZ, which is needed to do this.
If it’s been less than a year since you were awarded VA disability benefits, you’ll need to file an appeal. Our VA disability lawyers will be able to help you with the multiple requests needed to appeal your disability rating.
Gather Medical Evidence
The VA will not increase your disability rating without medical evidence showing your service connected disability has worsened. If you’ve noticed your condition decline, you’ll need to schedule an appointment with a medical professional familiar with VA language and standards. Our VA lawyers can help you get in touch with an IME doctor so you can document how your service connected disability has gotten more severe over time.
If you were treated by a private doctor, you’ll need to fill out Form 21-4142 with your request to increase your VA disability rating. This form gives your private doctor permission to share your information with the VA.
Fill Out Form 21-526EZ
If it’s been over a year since you were awarded VA disability benefits, you’ll need to fill out Form 21-526EZ and include medical evidence showing that your service connected condition has worsened. You may also include a letter explaining why you think your VA disability rating should be increased.
If it’s been less than a year since you were awarded VA disability compensation, you’ll need to go through a different process to appeal the decision. Since this can get complicated, we highly recommend you hire one of our VA lawyers so you can receive the VA disability compensation you deserve.
Appeal the VA’s Decision If Necessary
There’s always the risk that the VA could deny your request to increase your VA disability rating. If this happens, we recommend hiring one of our lawyers to appeal the VA’s decision. You may also have to appeal the VA’s decision if they re-evaluate your condition and decrease your benefits. Either way, our VA lawyers are up to date with the latest changes to VA law and will make sure you stay informed during the appeals process.
Our VA lawyers are dedicated to helping veterans just like you receive the VA disability benefits they deserve for service connected conditions. To request a consultation with one of our VA disability lawyers in Kalamazoo, MI, call the VA Disability Group at 1-844-VET-LAWS.