Posted on behalf of The Nye Law Group on Dec 08, 2016 in Veterans' Benefits
If you filed an application for veterans' disability benefits and it was denied by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), you may be able to reverse the decision through an appeal.
The first step in the appeals process is to file a Notice of Disagreement with the agency that denied your claim, which is likely to be your local VA office. The Notice of Disagreement must be postdated within 12 months from the date the VA mailed you a denial letter.
In your Notice of Disagreement, you can state that you disagree with all of the VA's decisions or identify specific decisions you would like the VA to reconsider.
You can also request that your appeal be reviewed by a Decision Review Officer (DRO) instead of a hearing officer from the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA). A DRO may be able to review your appeal faster than a hearing officer. Also, the DRO's review process may include a hearing, possibly improving your chances of a successful appeal.
After your appeal is reviewed by a DRO or BVA hearing officer, you will receive a Statement of Case. Your Statement of Case will summarize the evidence related to issues raised in your Notice of Disagreement, cite relevant laws and regulations, state the original decision on each issue, and reasons for upholding or reversing each decision.
You have 60 days from the date the Statement of the Case was mailed to file another appeal with the BVA. This appeal must state specific allegations of errors with the facts of the case or errors with relevant laws and identify the benefits you are seeking.
The appeal will be reviewed in a hearing with a BVA hearing officer, who will grant or deny benefits or send the case back to your local VA office to gather more information to help resolve the case.
If you are denied again, you can appeal back to the BVA if you can show there is a clear error with the decision. You can also make a written request for the BVA to reconsider its decision. Another option is filing an appeal with the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims within 120 days of the BVA's decision.
An experienced veterans’ disability attorney can be of great help throughout the appeals process, helping you complete a Notice of Disagreement and any other necessary documentation and making sure it is submitted on time.
The Nye Law Group's veterans' disability attorneys have years of experience helping veterans navigate the appeals process. Your initial consultation is complimentary and we charge legal fees only if we are successful.