The journey of a U.S. service member varies greatly from person to person. From joining the military, to serving on active duty, to returning home, and then waiting as you try to receive the benefits you deserve due to a disabling injury or illness, the process may seem interminable. If you were disabled while serving in the military and have filed a claim, receiving a denial can be devastating, and it’s important to know what your options are.
At Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick, the appeals process is one we discuss with clients often. One of the main questions clients have is how long an appeal can take. The answer is that it can often take years, depending on your case. You can help to alleviate that time though by staying organized and communicating with the VA. If your claim is denied, you have one full year to file an appeal with that decision. Take the initiative right away and file for the appeal as soon as you get the denial letter.
In filing your appeal, it’s important to clearly understand why your claim was not approved and work from there. If you decide to file a Notice of Disagreement (NOD), the appeals process will begin from there. If you have new evidence, you will want to submit it with your NOD, as well as your request for a DRO hearing, should you decide you want one. If this goes well, you could potentially see the process finish right there, quite expediently, with your benefits fully granted. That’s the best scenario. If that does not happen, then your appeals process continues with the issuance of a Statement of Case from your Regional Office.
Keep an eye on all the documentation and communications and make sure that VA has what they need. If you mail things to VA, it’s better to do so by certified mail.. Make all communication as detailed as possible and if you find the process is taking a long time, find as much of the needed evidence yourself and submit it to the correct people. Do not give anyone an excuse to delay your case.
To go through the VA disability appeals process as painlessly as possible, contact an experienced attorney. At Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick, let us handle the legal issues while you focus on your health. We have a team of experienced veterans lawyers and advocates who can evaluate your case and argue an appeal. We work with veterans around the country in helping them to win the disability benefits they deserve, and we are here to help you!
Call for immediate help at 401-331-6300 or contact us online.