Veterans who are filing a Notice of Disagreement (NOD) should keep two priorities in mind. First, they should clearly state their reasons for appealing and provide the VA with relevant evidence that supports their appeal. Second, they should take the necessary steps to avoid delays in the appeals process.
Sometimes a knowledge of complex legalese is required to understand why the VA denied you service connection. Other times it may require an understanding of medical jargon to figure out why you were assigned a particular rating, and to determine how to show the VA that you deserve a higher rating. This is why it is often advisable to consult with an experienced veterans attorney before filing your NOD.
Reasons to Appeal the VA’s Decision
The main reasons veterans disagree with the VA’s decision on their claims is that the rating is too low, service-connection was not granted, or the veteran is seeking an earlier effective date. The VA does make mistakes sometimes, but you can only succeed in your appeal if you have the evidence and legal knowledge to back it up.
The appeals process is long, averaging over 3 years. Cases that are appealed to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals take even longer. If you are not sure if you should appeal a recent denial, consult a veterans law professional before you spend several years in the appeals process. You don’t have to go it alone.
Avoid Delays During Your Appeal
You can speed up the appellate process by submitting all filings as soon as possible. Just because the VA allows a certain amount of time to file an appeal does not mean you have to exhaust the appeal period before submitting your appeal
You should also submit all additional evidence with your NOD. You have the right to continue to submit evidence later on, but each new piece of evidence may slow down your appeal.
On your NOD form, you can select a traditional appellate review or a de novo review on your claim. If you do not make this choice on your NOD, the VA will send you a notice requesting you make this decision, which will further delay your appeal.
If you are in need of assistance filing your Notice of Disagreement, talk to an experienced veterans lawyer about your case. The veterans advocates at Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick have over 25 years of experience helping veterans get the compensation they deserve. Contact us today for a no-cost case evaluation.