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Has your claim for VA disability benefits been denied by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)?
If you did not have a lawyer’s help with your initial application, or if you are unhappy with the way your original lawyer handled your VA claim, now is the time to appeal the decision with help from the law firm of Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law. For decades, our law firm has focused almost exclusively on helping clients get the government disability benefits they deserve — even after their applications for disability benefits have been denied.
There are several steps in the VA disability appeal process of making and appealing a claim for veterans’ disability benefits.
You make the original application at your local regional office of the VA. The regional office will send you a decision, called a Ratings Decision. If you are unhappy with the Ratings Decision, you may file a Notice of Disagreement with your regional office within one year of the Ratings Decision.
When you file the Notice of Disagreement, you may request a personal hearing and second review of your case by a Decision Review Officer from the regional office. A personal hearing allows you to provide testimony and gives your lawyer a chance to add additional insight to your case to persuade the Decision Review Officer. This hearing process is fairly informal, and you will be represented by your attorney every step of the way.
After the hearing, the Decision Review Officer will issue a Statement of the Case (SOC). You and your lawyer may submit additional evidence if you believe the SOC does not completely present your argument that you have a valid VA claim.
If the decision is still unfavorable, you may appeal to the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA). This appeal must be submitted to your regional VA office within 60 days from the SOC or one year from the Ratings Decision. At this stage, you have the opportunity for another hearing, this time before the BVA. Again, this hearing will be relatively informal, and you will be helped and represented by your attorney.
It can take a very long time to receive a decision from the BVA. The BVA decision may grant you benefits, send your case back to the regional office for a new decision, or issue a denial of benefits.
If the BVA denies your claim for VA benefits, then you may file a final appeal before the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. You must file this appeal within 120 days after the BVA decision.
You may learn additional general information about the VA appeals process from one of our attorneys. If you have questions about your specific circumstances and qualifying for veterans’ disability benefits, contact our office as soon as possible. We can schedule an appointment for a consultation over the telephone or in any of our five West Virginia offices. To make an appointment, call or send us an e-mail.
Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law