It is always disheartening to receive notification that your veterans’ disability benefits have been denied—or that they will be reduced or stopped. Some people react to the notification by giving up all hope of receiving benefits and not taking action. Other people react to the notification by immediately filing an appeal, regardless of the circumstances.
What Should You Do?
Your reaction to a veterans’ disability benefit claim denial should fall somewhere in the middle. If your claim was wrongfully denied (and the Department of Veterans Affairs admits that about 15 percent of denials are mistakes), you should take the time and effort to appeal your case. If your claim was denied for a good reason, this may be the time to accept that fact.
Before you decide whether or not to appeal, you should:
- Understand why your claim was denied. You have one very important question to find the answer to: was your claim denied in error? The VA will explain exactly why your claim was denied. It may be because you did not connect your disability to your active duty service. It may be because you did not prove that you suffered from a disability. Whatever the reason, you need to clearly understand what went wrong in your initial application.
- Consider the evidence you will need to move forward. Once you know why you were denied, you need to know what information you would need to provide to reverse that decision. Are there medical records that you did not include in your initial claim? Do you have more evidence that your injury or health condition occurred during your service? Was there simply a misunderstanding?
- Ask yourself about your best interests. Before you pursue an appeal at any cost, be sure to be honest with yourself. What will the appeal cost in terms of time, effort, and money—and do you feel confident that your appeal will be well-received? Is your disability severe enough to receive a disability rating? Be sure to appeal with a purpose.
Additionally You Can Consult a Veterans’ Disability Attorney
A knowledgeable, experienced Texas VA disability attorney can help review your application and understand why your claim did not have the outcome you expected. He or she can also help you understand what your legal options are and whether or not it would be worth it to go through with an appeal. Finally, a disability lawyer can help you collect the evidence you need to improve your case and better prove your service-connected disability.
Please schedule your free case evaluation today by starting a live chat with us or calling us directly at 800-800-6353.
by Paul B. Burkhalter Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.