Unsurprisingly, many veterans apply for disability benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs (also known as the VA) and wind up with a disappointing outcome. To address this, they may decide to appeal the decision, either to reverse a rejection or to get a better disability rating. But when should you file a VA disability appeal, and what happens if you do?
What it Means to File a VA Disability Appeal
Put simply, when you choose to appeal your VA disability decision, you are contesting the decision passed down by the ratings board. This allows you to bring the decision in front of another authority, who will review your case and potentially allow you to present any new evidence you may have. Depending on how you choose to appeal, this may involve a hearing at your local VA office, or it may involve bringing your case before the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA).
Why You Should File a Disability Appeal
There are two primary reasons to appeal your VA disability decision. The first is that you were denied a disability rating, whether due to errors in your application, a supposed lack of evidence, or a lack of connection between your disability and your military service. The second is that you obtained a disability rating, but it was substantially lower than what you might otherwise be entitled to. You may also want to appeal if the medical science on your disability has seen major progress since you applied for disability benefits, or if your condition has worsened substantially over time.
When You Should File a Disability Appeal
Ideally, you should appeal your VA disability decision as soon as possible after you receive a decision on your application. However, if you have only recently obtained new evidence, or your condition has recently worsened, you can appeal your decision years or even decades later. Ultimately, the question is whether there is an adequate reason to reconsider your disability rating.
Is Filing a VA Disability Appeal Right For You?
If you want to know whether you should file for a VA disability appeal, you should speak to a lawyer with experience handling veterans disability law. They can help you go over your legal options and determine what may work best for you. The sooner you call, the sooner they can get to work on your case.
The attorneys of Sullivan & Kehoe place a special focus on assisting disabled veterans. Our veterans’ disability lawyers are still available for remote consultation on your legal issues. Call our office at (800) 395-7830 to schedule a consultation in our New York City, Garden City, Kings Park, Riverhead, or White Plains office, or visit our contact page.