Most veterans rely on the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to help them with their medical needs. What happens, though, when the VA denies a claim? If the VA denies your disability claim, relief is available through the appeals process.
After the VA denies a claim, what appeals options are available?
The VA offers three types of appeals to veterans after a claim denial:
- Supplemental claim— In a supplemental claim, you can provide additional information that you either neglected or did not possess when making your initial application.
- Higher-level reviews— If you disagree with a denial or supplemental claim decision, you can request that a senior reviewer review your case, any new information, or any errors you or your representative identify.
- Board appeals— Board appeals allow you to appeal a decision made in supplemental claims or high-level reviews, whether through a hearing, a direct review from a veterans law judge or a review after you submit supplemental information.
These processes can be time-consuming, with supplemental claims and higher-level reviews often taking four to five months to complete. Board appeals can take a year or more to complete.
Time could run out on your opportunity to appeal.
After you receive an unfavorable decision from the VA, don’t wait to take action. Most people have one year from receiving notice of the original decision letter to file an appeal.
Because time is of the essence, it is essential to speak to an attorney after the VA denies your claim. An experienced lawyer can help you collect additional information and evidence to support your claim, offer guidance on the type of appeal that will bring about the best results and help you fight to receive the support you deserve.