You just received the news that VA denied your claim for service-connected disability benefits. You might be feeling confused, frustrated, and just tired of the whole process. To suffer from a disability that was caused by military service and have your claim for benefits denied by VA is disheartening at best and maddening at worst. So what is the next step?
You filed the claim, went to the VA medical examination, and submitted the evidence you had. The next step is to file a Notice of Disagreement (NOD) with the VA’s decision. When filing your NOD, you have the option of requesting a Decision Review Officer (DRO) hearing. A DRO hearing can be held at the regional office which reviewed your initial claim, or via videoconference if necessary, and you can expect an informal process.
The advantage of a DRO hearing is that you will actually be speaking to the DRO who is reviewing and deciding your case. The DRO is responsible for reviewing the previous decision on your claim, assessing whether or not there is reason to make a new decision, and if so, proceeding to do so and awarding benefits. The DRO, a senior technical expert, has the authority to either uphold the original decision on your claim or overturn it.
If you are at a crossroads after receiving a denial and trying to decide what to do next, you may want to seek experienced counsel from a law firm like Chisholm, Chisholm & Kilpatrick. We have decades of experience helping veterans through the disability claims process.
For immediate help, call us at 401-331-6300 or contact us online.