Top-Rated Veteran Disability Appeals Lawyer

Our experienced legal team is ready to help you with your denied veteran benefits claim by helping you to submit a veteran disability appeal that addresses all the issues and improves your evidence.

Veterans’ disability claims are designed to ensure that veterans get the disability benefits they need but can often result in many veterans having their claims denied or their disabilities rated too low. Fortunately, there is still hope for denied claimants in the form of a veteran disability appeal. 

If you are a United States military veteran who has encountered difficulties seeking veteran disability benefits either because your claim was denied or you received an inadequate disability rating then you should consider contacting the accredited VA disability lawyers at Bartlett Legal Group about your case. 

Your ability to successfully appeal your denied claim hinges on the quality of new evidence you provide and the choices you make regarding how you proceed with the many options in the VA appeals process. 

Reach out to our veterans disability claims attorneys at Bartlett Legal Group to schedule a free consultation. You can do this by calling call (850) 332-6434 or filling out a form on our contact page. We can provide the benefit of an expert’s opinion and resources that can help navigate through this red tape and successfully appeal your claim. 

Why Veterans Disability Claims Are Denied

If you are in need of filing a veteran disability appeal, it’s likely because your VA claim was denied. So why was your veteran disability claim denied in the first place?

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has finite resources and must thoroughly evaluate every claim it receives to make sure every claimant receives only the amount of benefits necessary. 

This inevitably leads to some issues and has contributed to the VA’s reputation for creating a lot of red tape. Like any bureaucratic institution, they will give some formal justification for the issues veterans encounter when trying to attain disability benefits. 

The following are the most common reasons why a VA disability claim will be denied.

Incomplete, Incorrectly Completed, or Incorrect Forms

One of the simplest to correct mistakes is also one of the most common ones that lead to disability claims being rejected. The paperwork required to file a claim can be extensive which is why it is imperative that claimants double-check their VA forms to ensure that they are not only the correct forms but that they are properly filled out. 

The VA needs this information to properly evaluate your disability benefits claim even if you may feel uncomfortable disclosing some details. 

Lack of Service Connection

One of the primary criteria for seeking veterans’ disability benefits is that the injury or condition in question must have a direct service connection. This means that the injury or condition was suffered during, made worse by, or caused by circumstances experienced during your military service. 

Some conditions are considered presumptive which means that they are automatically assumed to be service-connected. For example, veterans who were stationed at Camp Lejeune have cancer as a presumptive condition. 

This is based on the exposure people on base had to water-borne carcinogens. In most cases, proving a service connection is possible with sufficient documentation such as service and medical records. 

Your VA Disability Rating is Not Sufficient to Qualify For Benefits

While the VA provides support to veterans dealing with conditions related to their military service, there is a threshold of disability that needs to be met before disability benefits are available to you. In some cases, a veteran’s condition may not be deemed severe enough to be eligible for disability benefits.

Lack of Evidence or Rejection of Evidence

The evidence that is submitted to the VA as part of your disability claim not only has to be plentiful but also of good quality. The VA is naturally skeptical of any claim and requires proof in the form of credible documentation to approve disability benefits.

Claimants need to make sure that they give sufficient evidence to paint the full picture of their condition and its relation to their service. This can include a proper diagnosis from a reputable physician, official service records, and statements from credible sources.

Your Condition was Pre-Existing

Claimants need to have their condition related to their service if they are seeking disability benefits. This means that you need to have suffered an injury during service or experienced conditions that can be connected to a condition that arose after your service. 

It is also possible to get benefits for a condition that existed before military service but was aggravated and made worse by conditions experienced during your time in the military. 

Veteran Disability Appeal – How To Appeal a Claim

If you found the process of filing a veterans disability claim to be complex, frustrating, and long then you will be disappointed to learn that the VA appeals process does nothing to improve on those perceived qualities. 

When it comes to appealing a claim, patience is key since the process can take anywhere from several months to several years. The first step in filing an appeal for a veterans disability claim is to get in contact with an experienced and VA-accredited veterans disability benefits lawyer. 

It is possible to go through the VA claims appeal process on your own. However, this would be an immense risk, especially considering what is at stake and how your VA disability benefits claim was likely denied after you filed a claim on your own. 

Getting the help of a VA disability lawyer does not only get you legal representation that will look after your best interests but also provides you with an ally to help you determine the best way forward to getting compensation. 

The experience and knowledge a VA disability lawyer provides makes a difference. Getting their help as early on in the VA appeals process can save you a great deal of frustration. 

VA Claim Appeal Deadlines

You only have a limited period of time to file a VA claim appeal. The deadline is one year from the day the decision denying your claim is mailed and not the day you receive your decision. The letter containing the decision should have the date of the start of this time window. Missing this deadline renders you ineligible to file an appeal so time is of the essence. 

Choosing a Review Lane for Your VA Disability Claim Appeal

The VA has updated its appeals process with a new system affecting all decisions post-February 2019 following the passage of the Appeals Modernization Act. This new process involves claimants choosing from three options for how to handle their appeal. 

Veterans in the previous appeal system known as the Legacy system can opt into the new appeals process if they received a Statement of the Case (SOC) or Supplemental Statement of the Case (SSOC) after February 2019. 

There are three options to choose from when deciding how to proceed with your appeal.

  • A Higher Level Review
  • A Supplemental Claim
  • Appeal to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals

These three options have their strengths and weaknesses that will make them suitable or unsuitable for certain claim appeal situations. In the event that you are unsuccessful with a VA appeal through one of these options, you may be able to seek an appeal through one of the others, although you may still encounter the same outcome. 

Higher-Level Review

In a higher-level review, your veterans disability claim will be reevaluated by a different and more senior claims adjudicator. This new evaluation will not involve the submission of new evidence and will take a look at the claim as is but with the opinion of a more experienced claims adjudicator. 

This process may also involve an informal telephone conference with the new adjudicator evaluating your claim. This option is best for situations where you believe a difference in opinion or a fresh set of eyes will be the deciding factor in the approval of your claim. This is also one of the faster options for an appeal. 

Supplemental Claims

A supplemental claim involves the claimant submitting new evidence for their claim that will hopefully lead to the reversal of a denial. This needs to be new and relevant evidence that can prove your disability benefits claim or otherwise resolve any issues adjudicators had before with its credibility. This new evidence can include things like new medical test results, new witness statements, previously unavailable service documentation, and more. 

Appeals to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals

Veterans with denied disability claims are also able to appeal to the Board of Veterans Appeals. This process has three options for proceeding. 

  • Direct Review
  • Evidence Submission
  • A Board of Veterans’ Appeals Hearing

The first two of these options are similar to the first two choices of appeal. However, they involve a judge from the Board of Veterans’ Appeals instead of a claims adjudicator. A direct review involves a veterans’ law judge reviewing the claim again but with no new evidence. Evidence submission involves the submission of new evidence that the judge will take into consideration when reviewing your claim. 

Finally, a hearing can be requested with a judge where additional evidence as well as testimony from the claimant will factor into their consideration. A Board of Veterans’ Appeals hearing can take the longest out of any appeal option with some veterans waiting years for resolution of their appeal. You may be able to appeal a BVA decision, depending on your reasoning.

How a Veterans Disability Lawyer Can Help Your Veteran Disability Appeal

Getting the assistance of an experienced VA disability attorney can mean the difference between getting the disability benefits you need and a failed appeal. A VA disability lawyer can provide valuable insight that will not only pertain to the success of your appeal but also to the maximizing of your potential benefits. 

Most of all, having a VA lawyer on your side means you no longer have to hold the entire burden of taking care of a claim appeal on your own. The process is demanding and those dealing with the stress and difficulties of disabilities should not have to face these challenges alone. 

The United States military emphasizes how multiple people working together toward a common goal can achieve more than an individual. Your appeal is no different and will benefit from the involvement of an experienced VA attorney working with you. 

Contact Bartlett Legal Group About Your Veterans Disability Claim Appeal

Bartlett Legal Group is now taking new clients who are seeking to file appeals for their VA disability claims. As VA-accredited veterans disability lawyers , our legal team is dedicated to providing veterans with exemplary legal representation and helping them attain the disability benefits they deserve.   

To contact Bartlett Legal Group to schedule a free consultation on your veterans disability claim, you can either call (850) 332-6434 or fill out a form on ou r contact page

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does a VA appeal take?

VA disability claims can take several hundred days to complete and appeals can often take even longer. Do not go into the appeals process expecting a brief wait time. The length of the appeals process varies depending on why your claim was denied, your choice of appeals process, and your injuries. 

The only scenario in which you can expect a relatively short wait time is one where there was some kind of clerical error or human error during the evaluation of your claim and the credibility of your claim is not what is in question. However,  Clear and Unmistakable Errors are rare.

On the other hand, those seeking a hearing can end up waiting years for the resolution of their appeal. Some may choose to go through several appeals processes after repeated denials which takes longer. 

How much does a VA disability claim appeals lawyer cost?

Your VA disability claims lawyer will not demand upfront fees or charge you by the hour. Instead, they will work for a contingent fee that will be taken out of the compensation they attain for you in the form of a percentage. This percentage is required by law to be considered reasonable and most veterans disability benefits lawyers will request somewhere between 20-33%. 

Since this fee is a percentage of the compensation they get for you, VA disability claims lawyers will get nothing if they fail to get your claim appealed. The fees you pay them are also to be taken from past-due benefits and not the benefits you receive in the future. 

What is the best choice for the VA disability claim appeal process?

The details of your claim will determine what course of action your VA disability lawyer will recommend you take when choosing an avenue of appeal. 

The system was created with flexibility in mind for different veterans’ situations so the nature of your claim denial, your condition, and more will factor into whether you should request a higher review, file a supplemental claim, or appeal to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals. 

Call us! And Let Our Experts Help.

We are veterans, spouses, and family members of veterans. We know exactly what you are going through. Let our compassionate, skilled team help you!