If your claim for veterans disability benefits is denied, you are not alone. It is estimated that about 38 percent of all applications are denied at the local level. You have one year to discuss your claim with lawyers for VA claims and appeal. The most common reasons for appealing are:
- The VA does not believe a disability exists
- The VA does not agree that your disability is service related
- A dispute over your assessment of the level of your disability
In many cases, a part of the claim is approved. When you appeal, target the issue, and present a substantial amount of evidence to support your contention. Be very specific about that which you dispute.
The VA pays particular attention to medical opinions that show the connection between your years in the service and your disability. “Buddy statements” are also powerful, this is confirmation from a veteran that you served with who witnessed and can document your experience.
If you did not include a statement from your doctors when you first applied for benefits, do it as part of the appeal. Although doctor’s statements are good, actual treatment records are better.
Filing your appeal:
You can go back and present your evidence to the local VA office that denied your claim. If the initial decision to deny benefits is not overturned, you can go to the Board of Appeals. You can skip submitting new evidence to the local office; however, if you do, specify that you waive this option. If you fail to state that you want the evidence to go directly to the Board of Appeals, it may end up in the local office anyway which will just add to the delay.
A claim for veterans disability benefits requires a lot of detailed information. You can appeal on your own, but your chances of success are better when you work closely with lawyers for VA claims.
If your claim for veterans disability benefits was not approved you should consider hiring seasoned lawyers for VA claims to help with your appeal. You are invited to contact Jackson & MacNichol, Attorneys at Law.