Was your PTSD claim denied? Learn all about PTSD VA disability benefits appeals below. Many veterans are denied who later win their appeals. If you have more questions after reading the information below, give us a call. Woods & Woods always offers free PTSD appeal evaluations. Learn your legal rights at no cost. For help, just call toll-free (866) 232-5777 or fill out the contact form and we’ll be in touch with you soon.
About PTSD VA Disability Benefits Appeals
You are not alone: Lots of veterans initially have their PTSD claim denied. The VA makes a lot of mistakes and regularly denies legitimate PTSD claims. Don’t be discouraged by your denial. You can file a PTSD benefits appeal.
Denials are not the end of your PTSD claim: Many veterans must file PTSD VA disability benefits appeals after a denial. Appealing may be your only route to obtaining benefits after a denial. Luckily, your initial PTSD benefits decision is not final.
You have a limited amount of time to appeal: Veterans have one year from the denial to file PTSD VA disability benefits appeals. However, we suggest you begin your appeal right after your denial. The VA disability benefits appeals process is time-consuming. You don’t want to drag your claim out longer than it will already take. Again, our advice is to start working on your PTSD benefits appeal immediately following your denial.
Steps to Filing PTSD VA Disability Benefits Appeals
- Your PTSD claim is denied: Before filing PTSD VA disability benefits appeals, you are going to have to receive a denial. Even if you suspect the VA may deny your application, you need to wait to appeal until you actually do get the denial.
- Get a qualified opinion: Too many veterans take bad advice about filing PTSD VA disability benefits appeals. There are a lot of unqualified free veterans services that don’t know enough VA law to get veterans’ appeals filed correctly. You have one shot to appeal your PTSD denial. Make sure you do it correctly, only take good advice, and only get qualified assistance.
- Gather evidence for your claim: We highly suggest you do not re-submit the same evidence that resulted in your denial. Good evidence is going to greatly increase your chances of filing successful PTSD VA disability benefits appeals. You can read more about evidentiary requirements later on in this page.
- File a Notice of Disagreement (NOD): The Notice of Disagreement lets the Veterans Administration know that you disagree with their decision. Veterans and their family members must file the NOD within one year from the date the decision was made.
- File your Statement of the Case (SOC): The Veterans Administration will send the Statement of the Case (SOC) to the veteran or their lawyer. This often takes a while; sometimes around 200 days. The SOC should be reviewed carefully for any mistakes. We have almost come to expect mistakes on the SOC.
- File a Form 9: If you wish to appeal, you must now file a VA Form 9 to begin the appeal to the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA). You must meet the time limits for filing a Form 9 or you forfeit your right to appeal. We highly suggest you contact a Board of Veterans Appeal (BVA) attorney to handle your Form 9.
Help For Vets That Can’t Work From PTSD
Veterans that are unable to work from their PTSD may be eligible to receive PTSD Individual Unemployability benefits. These benefits pay the same as a 100% rating, but do not require your disabilities to total a 100 percent veterans benefits rating. The VA is going to consider your impairments and how they affect your ability to work. If you cannot keep or obtain gainful employment, you may be eligible.
The Bureau of Labor and Statistics found there were 543,000 veterans that were currently unemployed. Many of those veterans are unemployed because of service-connected disabilities. Certain diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and sleep apnea are very common among veterans. All of these are disabling impairments that can prevent veterans with PTSD from working.
Evidence You Will Need for PTSD VA Disability Benefits Appeals
If you hire us, the PTSD veterans disability benefits lawyers at Woods and Woods are going to gather all the evidence you need for your claim. Here are some of the most common PSTD VA disability benefits appeals evidence veterans use:
Psychologists: Reports and medical records from psychologists are very powerful pieces of evidence for PTSD VA disability benefits appeals. Many of our clients never treated with a psychologists, even though they have severe PTSD. For clients that don’t treat with psychologists, our VA disability lawyers often have them speak with psychologists we have trained in VA law. These psychologists will write detailed report showing that the veteran has PTSD and how it is related to their time in the service.
Vocational Experts: Veterans that have trouble working from PTSD are often eligible for Total Disability Individual Unemployability benefits. Vocational experts write reports detailing why the veteran can’t work from PTSD and other service-connected impairments. Those reports can be turned in with PTSD VA disability benefits appeals to help bolster your claim.
Statements From Friends and Family: Some veterans submit statements from friends and family with their PTSD VA disability benefits appeals. These statements generally should show that John Q. Veteran went into the service and came home with PTSD. You want these statements to show how PTSD has affected the veteran’s life and how it is clearly from their time in the service.
Buddy Statements: To file successful PTSD VA disability benefit appeals, you will also need to prove that there was a stressor in the military that caused your PTSD. Many stressor events are never recorded on the veteran’s service record. Those veterans can submit VA disability benefits buddy statements. These are statements from people you served with can help prove that the stressor event did in fact occur.
List of Medications: If you take medicines related to your service-connected impairments, you should prove that to the VA. For example, our PTSD VA disability benefits appeal lawyers always ask veterans for their list of medications. If you are taking medicines that a doctor prescribed for your service-connected impairments, that can be further evidence that you are eligible for PTSD benefits.
Connecting Secondary Service-Connected Impairments to PTSD
When the VA determines the amount of money you receive in VA compensation for PTSD, they are also going to consider your secondary service-connected impairments. Make sure you also include all your secondary service-connected impairments when going after PTSD VA disability benefits. Here are some of the most common secondary service-connected impairments for veterans with PTSD:
Anxiety: Many veterans who file PTSD VA disability benefits appeals are also trying to obtain payments for anxiety veterans benefits. PTSD and your anxiety are directly linked. Lots of veterans with PTSD also have anxiety problems.
Depression: PTSD has been linked to many other mental conditions, but PTSD and depression are one of the most commonly linked service-connected impairments.
Schizophrenia: Many veterans with PTSD also have schizophrenia. The VA does offer schizophrenia veterans benefits to eligible veterans. If your schizophrenia is related to your time in the service, it may be considered service-connected.
Sleep Apnea: Some studies now suggest that PTSD and sleep apnea are connected. New research was conducted on 195 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans with PTSD. The study found that about 69% of veterans with PTSD are at a high risk for sleep apnea.
Get Help Filing PTSD VA Disability Benefits Appeals
Was your VA disability denied? Talk to a VA certified disability attorney at Woods and Woods. We offer free PTSD VA disability benefits appeals evaluations to any veteran and their family members. Our PTSD VA disability benefits appeals lawyers only charge if your appeal is successful. Ask Woods and Woods VA benefits appeals lawyers all your questions and we’ll answer them at no cost. We have filed thousands of appeals with the VA. Since 1985, Woods & Woods has been fighting for the sick, injured, and disabled.