VA disability appeals have become all too common for veterans because of the VA’s mistakes. If you have questions about VA disability appeals, we can help. For free, we will answer any questions you have. All veterans can receive free legal consultations. For help, please fill out the online contact form or call toll-free (866) 232-5777.
About VA Disability Appeals
If you are a veteran or family member of a veteran that was denied VA benefits or given a low-rating, you may be considering appealing that decision. If you disagree with the Veterans Administration’s decision, appealing is how you challenge that decision. When appealing, you should submit evidence to prove your physical or mental impairment is service-connected. Don’t assume that the Veterans Administration is going to review relevant evidence if you do not submit anything.
How To File: VA Disability Appeals Process
1. Veteran is denied benefits or receives a low-rating.
2. File the Notice of Disagreement (NOD).
3. The VA will respond by sending you a Statement of the Case (SOC).
4. Appeal to the BVA you must file a VA Form 9.
Time Limits for Appealing
There are time limits for appealing a VA disability rating decision. You have one year from the date the Veterans Administration made their initial decision on your VA disability benefits. If you have let your time period to appeal collapse, you may submit a new claim. That means you will have to go through the initial application process with the Veterans Administration again.
VA Disability Appeal Hearings
Disabled veterans wishing to obtain benefits have the option to have a hearing for their VA appeal. However, you are not required to have a hearing. Many veterans opt out of hearings because they don’t want to go through the hearing process. If you opt out of your hearing, you will not be penalized for doing so; it is very common.
The Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA)
The Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA) will rule on your claim after you file your Form 9. If you elect to have a hearing, this can will be done in Washington D.C. or a local VA office with video conferencing capabilities. Veterans may chose not to have a hearing. This process will take time and veteran must remember to be patient. The VA system is slow and hiring the right lawyer can help you navigate the complex bureaucracy.
About BVA Claim Denials
If the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA) denied your VA disability appeal you can appeal to the U.S. Court of Veterans’ Claims (CAVC). There is also the option of filing a Clear and Unmistakable Error (CUE) claim. However, CUE claims can be hard to win and are not always the best route to go from a VA disability appeal.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans’ Claims (CAVC)
The U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans’ Claims (CAVC) is also located in Washington D.C. However, the CAVC is not affiliated with the Veterans Administration. The CAVC is the only court that can hear an appeal from the BVA. The only evidence that will be reviewed at the CAVC is the same evidence submitted to the BVA. You may not present new evidence to the CAVC.
Do I need a lawyer for my VA disability appeal?
You are not required to hire a lawyer for your VA disability appeal. However, we highly suggest you hire an experienced veterans benefits lawyer. Woods & Woods has the resources to hire psychologists, doctors, and vocational experts to help win your VA disability appeal. Many VSO’s and veterans organizations can help veterans appeal but many can’t offer the experts and reports often needed to prove a VA disability appeal.
You are not alone in needing to appeal your VA disability decision. The Washington Times reports that 80% of Gulf War veterans claims were denied. The VA cited “inadequate and insufficient evidence” as the reason these claims were denied.
Can I afford a VA disability appeal lawyer?
Yes! Many veterans are under the impression that they cannot afford a VA disability appeal lawyer; that is dead wrong. Woods & Woods never charges a penny unless you win your VA disability appeal. Our fee is a percentage of the backpay won and case expenses. Our lawyers will not touch your future benefits. If you lose your VA disability appeal, you owe us nothing.
Why call Woods & Woods VA disability appeal lawyers?
Since 1985, Woods & Woods has aggressively represented injured and disabled people. Our law firm has helped thousands of veterans and their family members with their VA disability appeals. Our highly-trained staff knows VA disability appeal law and fights for veterans everyday. For your free legal consultation on VA disability appeals, please fill out the online contact form or call toll-free (866) 232-5777.