What Happens After I Submit My Claim to the VA for Disability?
Once you have submitted your veterans disability claim to your local office by mail or using eBenefits, your claim will go through several steps as it is processed by the VA. The VA lists eight steps in the claims process, including gathering evidence, reviewing evidence, and recommending a decision.
Checking the Status of Your Veterans Disability Claim
You may be curious to know whether the VA received your claim, and in what step of the process your claim currently is. The VA has recently added a claim status tracker to allow you to see the progress of your claim.
Once your local VA office has made a final decision on your disability claim, they will send it to you by mail.
What to Do If You Disagree With the VA’s Decision
If you disagree with the VA’s decision, you must file a Notice of Disagreement (NOD). You should file an NOD if you disagree with any aspect of the decision, including:
- a disability rating that is too low
- a denial
- an effective date that should be earlier
Your claim may have been denied for several different reasons, including lack of current diagnosis, or insufficient evidence linking your current disability to an in-service injury or event. You have one year from the date on your decision letter to file your NOD. If you need help filing your NOD, consider working with an experienced veterans attorney or veterans advocate.
Appealing Your VA Claim Denial
You have the option of providing additional evidence when you submit your NOD. To speed up the process, you should submit all of your additional evidence at this time. Every time a new piece of evidence is received, the VA must review your case again, which adds more time to a process that already tends to move slowly.
Once they have received your NOD, your local VA office will review your claim again, including any new evidence, and they will decide whether or not to grant your appeal. If any part of your appeal is denied, you will receive a written explanation of why your claim was denied, called a Statement of the Case (SOC).
If you disagree with the SOC, you still have the option to file a substantive appeal to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals.
Chisholm, Chisholm and Kilpatrick represents hundreds of veterans before the Department of Veterans Affairs and before the Board of Veterans’ Appeals. We also take cases all the way up to the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims if necessary. To receive your no-cost case evaluation, call us at 401-331-6300.
Category: Veterans Law