You served your country, and you didn’t come back unscathed. You have every reason to expect that you’ll be taken care of in your time of need. Sadly, this isn’t always how it plays out.
If your VA disability compensation has been denied, you may feel frustrated, angry, even shocked. You may not know what to do next. You may even feel like you’re already out of options.
Fortunately, getting a VA claim denied doesn’t have to be the end of the story. By contacting an experienced veterans disability attorney, you can fight back against an unfair denial.
At Karl Truman Law, we are experienced in veterans affairs and are here to give you the knowledge you need to succeed. In this article, we will cover common reasons why VA disability claims are denied, next steps after a denied claim, and how an attorney can help you get the benefits you need.
There are several common factors that could lead the VA to deny your disability claim. Unfortunately, many of these reasons stem from both how complicated these claims can be, and a lack of clear instructions or guidance from the VA itself. This system puts veterans at a disadvantage while filing, and makes it harder for them to receive the benefits they need—and are entitled to.
If you or a loved one are preparing to make a claim for your VA disability benefits, or your claim has already been denied, take some time to review the following information. Then, call an experienced attorney for help. Veterans disability attorneys know how to deal with the roadblocks and complications that often frustrate veterans who are just trying to get their legitimate claims approved and fairly paid.
One of the most common reasons for a denied claim is that veterans are not always taught which form they need to fill out. Disabled veterans often spend significant time filing forms and gathering evidence, only to discover they used the wrong one.
The Department of Veterans Affairs’ lack of education over these matters costs many veterans their time, money, and benefits. Be sure to double check any form before filing to avoid this potential headache.
The VA requires significant evidence to grant disability benefits. This includes an official diagnosis, extensive medical records, and any other information and documentation relevant to your claim. If you or your doctor do not provide enough evidence to support your claim, you will likely be denied.
It can be hard to know what exactly to include in your claim, so consider hiring an attorney that understands what evidence matters and what you can do without.
Another side effect of a general lack of education on VA disability benefits is that many disabled veterans don’t know how long it takes to file. The claim approval process can sometimes take years to complete, even if they choose to deny. VA disability benefits are also only paid out monthly for current disabilities, which means waiting till you recover could cost you your opportunity to receive benefits.
If the VA denied your veterans disability claim, you will only have a year to file an appeal, so be sure to act quickly. This may seem like a lot of time, but the appeals process can be lengthy and leave you and your loved ones without the help you need for longer than expected.
After going over the evidence you provided, the VA can decide that they do not believe your disability is related to your military service. To prove that your disability is service-related, you will have to undergo a C&P examination from a VA doctor. They will then make an official diagnosis and decide if there is a direct connection. This exam will be key for your claim, so be sure to make time to go and get it done.
One of the most frustrating reasons for a veteran to have their VA claim denied is a disagreement over their disability. The VA can decide that your disability is either not severe enough, or simply doesn’t qualify, for benefits through a disability rating. This can be extremely difficult for disabled veterans and can be hard to understand.
To avoid this scenario and raise your disability rating, be sure to provide as much evidence as possible, including medical bills, medical records, doctor’s statements, and even buddy statements. The more evidence you have of your disability’s hardship on your everyday life, the more likely you are to get approved.
It is also possible for the VA to rule your disability as part of a pre-existing condition that does not qualify for benefits. If your VA regional office discovers that you have a pre-existing condition that could be linked to your disability, you will be unable to file for disability benefits. If you have any pre-existing conditions, be sure to check with your doctor, or an experienced attorney, before filing to prevent a potential denial.
RELATED: What Qualifies for VA Disability?
After receiving a claim denial letter, many veterans believe that they’ve reached the end of the line. However, if your VA claim is denied, you do have up to a year to file for an appeal.
That being said, the appeals process can be complicated and often leads to more headaches than claimants expect. It’s important to file sooner rather than later—but at the same time, you also need to make sure that your appeal is prepared and handled properly to maximize your chances of success.
This is why finding the right VA disability attorney is so crucial.
While the VA may not provide the resources many veterans need to understand and navigate this process, Karl Truman Law is here to help. Before you give up on your VA disability claim, take the following steps for a second chance at receiving the help you deserve.
After you’ve had your VA claim denied, it is important to quickly file an appeal, as the appeals process can be lengthy. Using VA form 21-0958, you can file a Notice of Disagreement with the VA to appeal your original claim. By filing this form, you will begin a new claims process with either a decision review officer (DRO) or the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA).
The advantage of this process is that if your appeal is denied by a DRO, you still have the opportunity to appeal to the BVA. The only disadvantage of this is that you will have to file another appeal, which can lead to even more time without access to disability benefits.
When initiating an appeal, it is important not to get carried away by emotions. Yes, you have every right to feel angry or even cheated by your denial, but this notice is simply to inform the VA that you will be filing an appeal. Be sure to leave any arguments or narratives out of your NOD—you will have a chance to explain yourself later.
The appeals process can be complicated and can eventually lead to further paperwork, evidence collection, and processing. The last thing that you and your loved ones need to worry about is the amount of work that goes into a process like this.
By hiring an experienced attorney at the beginning of your appeals process, you can avoid any potential headaches and ensure that your denied claim is reversed the first time. Especially if you have a complex case, hiring an experienced attorney can be the difference between getting benefits and getting denied.
When you hire an experienced VA disability attorney, you give yourself access to someone who understands the VA claims process and can help you succeed. An experienced law firm, like Truman Law, can help you to file the correct paperwork, gather and analyze relevant evidence, help you understand your claim denial, and even handle your appeal on your behalf. Veterans disability attorneys are there to take on the burden of filing so you and your loved ones can focus on recovery.
By hiring an attorney like Karl Truman Law, you get the experience to file your claim with confidence, as well as the empathy of someone who has been in your shoes. We build an attorney client relationship with veterans based around trust and understanding. By working with a veteran, you can know that your needs come first, and that your experience will be understood and heard by someone who cares.
If you or a loved one believe you have a case against the VA, but aren’t sure what to do next, consider reading Karl Truman’s book “Fight the VA & Win.” In his book, Karl Truman shares his experience with VA disability claims to help readers understand how to avoid potential mistakes and get the benefits they deserve. Find your copy here and begin your journey towards a successful claim.
As a veteran of 28 years himself, Karl Truman takes VA disability claims personally, and treats all veterans with the respect and empathy they deserve.
Our law firm regularly handles veterans appeals and fight hard to ensure that our clients get the respect and compensation they deserve. We are here to guide you through the appeals process and help you avoid the pitfalls and tricks that may keep you for receiving the disability benefits you need.
U.S Department of Veterans Affairs (2021, October 21). About VA Form 21-526EZ. U.S Department of Veterans Affairs. https://www.va.gov/find-forms/about-form-21-526ez/
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.