If the outcome of your initial VA application did not go as expected, now is the right time to appeal the decision with the help of a reputable law firm. For decades, our experienced and seasoned staff have focused almost exclusively on guiding our clients to obtain the government VA disability benefits they deserve. They can also help veterans get benefits even after their appeal for disability compensation has been denied.
There are various steps in making and appealing a VA disability benefits claim. Read on to learn more!
You make the initial application for disability benefits at your regional VA office. The VA regional office will send you a decision known as a Ratings Decision. If you are unsatisfied with that Ratings Decision, you can file a Notice of Disagreement with your regional office within one year of your Ratings Decision.
After you file a Notice of Disagreement, you can request a personal hearing and a second decision review of your claim by a Decision Review Officer from the regional office. A personal hearing enables you to give testimony and allows your Case Manager a chance to include additional insight into your application to persuade the Decision Review Officer.
After your hearing, the Decision Review Officer may issue a SOC (Statement of the Case). You and your Case Manager may submit additional evidence if you think the SOC doesn’t completely present your argument that you’ve got a valid VA disability benefits claim.
If your decision is still unfavourable, you can appeal to the BVA (Board of Veterans Appeals). That appeal should be submitted to your regional office within 60 days from the Statement of the Case or one year from the VA Ratings Decision. At this stage, you have the chance for another hearing, but this time before the BVA. Again, the hearing will be relatively informal, and you’ll be assisted and represented by your VA Case managers.
It may take longer to obtain a decision from the Board of Veterans Appeals. The BVA decision will grant you disability benefits, send your claim back to your regional VA office for a new decision, or order a denial of VA benefits.
If the BVA rejects your claim for VA disability benefits, you can file a final appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. You should file the appeal within 120 days after your BVA decision.