How Can a Veteran Appeal a VA Claim Decision?
Military veterans of the United States have made sacrifices for the country that many people can’t begin to understand. Many veterans are deserving of disability benefits after giving years of service to our country as well as sacrifices of such magnitude. Some of the most common claims filed are for disabilities such as mental health issues, Gulf War Syndrome, Agent Orange-related disabilities, as well as orthopedic injuries. Amputation, heart disease, visual impairment, and hearing loss are also commonly seen claims.
If you’re a veteran, one of the last things that you want to have to worry about is your disability benefits claim being denied by the VA. It can be overwhelming and discouraging to know that you now must go through the appeal process and simply hope for the best. If the VA does deny your claim, what can you do as a veteran to appeal their decision?
In order to know how to appeal a veterans disability case it’s important, first and foremost, to understand why the VA denied the claim. Was there a lack of medical evidence? Depending on the condition, medical records proving examination, diagnosis and treatment are typically necessary.
Is there proof linking the condition to your service in the military? It’s crucial to be able to demonstrate that your service is what aggravated the disability. The medical opinion must be formed and documented properly as well. Claim evaluators will look for specific phrasing and language from the doctors when checking its validity. The evaluator must also determine that a veteran is at least 10 percent disabled due to a service-related condition.
Once you know the reasoning behind the denial, take the time to get all documentation necessary before making your appeal. Know that you always have the right to appeal if you feel you were incorrectly denied.
Start by filing a Notice of Disagreement with your VA Regional Office. You’ll receive a Statement of the Case, and you can then file a Substantive Appeal. In this form, you can explain the actual issues that you’re appealing, why you disagree with the VA’s decision regarding your claim, what facts you believe the VA got wrong pertaining to your situation and condition, as well as how you would rate your disability.
Keep in mind that you’ll need to provide new evidence supporting each of these points. The appeals process can be even more complex than filing the original claim. It can certainly be helpful to have legal counsel during this process as it has the tendency to feel somewhat overwhelming and complicated.
A Final Note
According to personal injury attorney in Rock Hill, SC, financial pressures after injuries or accidents can be intense and can add up quickly. It’s important to consider current medical expenses as well as expenses you’ll have in the future.
If your claim is denied but you’re worried that the appeal will be a daunting process, remember that it will be worth it in the end. As Howard Spiva, a personal injury lawyer in Savannah explains, you shouldn’t be afraid to seek legal counsel to take some of the weight off of your own shoulders.