Sunday, April 14, 2024

How Long Does The Appeal Process Take For Va Disability

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How Long Does My VA Disability Claim Take?

Veterans disabilities are rated based on VAs Schedule of Rating Disabilities. The ratings levels for each type of disability are based on the severity of your symptomatology and the level of social and occupation impairment that you experience as a result. A 100% rating indicates that your disability is completely, or totally, disabling. 100% total ratings may be reduced if the VA can show that your condition has shown material improvement. Material improvement means that there has been a significant change in the veterans ability to function in daily life.

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Personal Hearing And Review By A Decision Review Officer

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 . 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.

Board Of Veterans Appeals

If you asked for a BVA appeal, the VA will prepare your Statement of the Case and send it to you. The Statement of the Case is a summary of the VA’s denial decision, and it will take months for the VA to send it to you. You will also receive a Statement of the Case if the DRO denies your appeal.

Once you receive the Statement of the Case, you have only 60 days to file your BVA appeal. Use VA Form 9 to file your BVA appeal. You can find VA Form 9 at

VA Form 9 is more difficult to complete than a Notice of Disagreement, so you may need the help of an attorney.

After you file Form 9, you will again have to wait several months for your VA regional office to transfer your file to the BVA. When you get a letter from the BVA with instructions for your appeal, you will know that the BVA have received your file.

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Why Do Va Appeals Take So Long

Lets start at the beginning.

A veteran or claimant begins the adjudication process by filing a claim for entitlement to a service-connected disability at one of the many local VA regional offices. A VA employee called a Rating Specialist develops the claim by gathering evidence and then decides the claim and sends it to the veteran in a Rating Decision. If the veteran/claimant disagrees with any determination made in the rating decision, he/she appeals by filing a Notice of Disagreement or NOD at the local regional office.

After the filing of an NOD, the claim moves to the regional offices appeals section, and will now be handled by a . The VA statistics say that the wait time from the filing of an NOD to receiving a DRO decision is 9 months. This statistic understates the wait time for many claims.

If we are talking about poorly-represented claims, which DROs routinely deny, then yes, 9 months is a good estimate of the wait time. But claims which are properly developed and prosecuted and have a much better chance of success may take much longer. By properly developed and prosecuted, I mean:

  • Obtaining the claimants VAMC treatment medical records, private treatment medical records, and in-service medical records
  • Obtaining the claimants military personnel file

Veterans Pension Versus Disability Compensation

The 6 Stages of the VA Disability Claims Process

In some cases, veterans can receive disability compensation. Itâs not the same as the VA pension. Heres a way to tell the difference:

  • Disability compensation is for an illness or injury that happens because of or was made worse by your military service. Its not income-based and war service is not required.

  • A VA pension is for war veterans with a low income and who may have a disability that is not service-related.

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The Va Claims Process Steps: The War That Vets Fight With The Va

by Chris Attig

I was at a Little League baseball game a few summers ago, and told one of my assistant coaches how we were still fighting for VA Benefits for a Vietnam Veteran.

He seemed shocked not just at the fact that Veterans of a 40 year old war are still fighting for benefits, but also at the ridiculous number of VA Claims Process steps.

Most folks are shocked.

Their minds are blown when I tell them that my firm still gets calls from World War II Veterans and their Survivors being denied benefits by the VA


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The New Process Has Reduced Average Waiting Times

In November 2017, the VA launched an interim appeals process called the Rapid Appeals Modernization Program . RAMP was discontinued in favor of the new system in February 2019. But to this day, the VA still faces a significant backlog of cases brought under the legacy appeals process. This means that the Appeals Modernization Act will not have a significant effect on the processing time of older cases.

According to the VA, the new process is a significant improvement. As of April 2020, the average waiting times for different disability claim appeal procedures are as follows:

  • Initial Disability ClaimThe time between when you file your disability claim and receive a decision letter is generally 80 days.
  • Higher Level ReviewIf you appeal your ratings decision by requesting a case review from a Decision Review Officer, or DRO, the process takes on average 125 days.
  • Supplemental ClaimIf you chose to supply additional evidence in support of your claim, it will take on average 125 days for the regional office to review it.
  • Board of Veterans AppealsIt generally takes a year for the BVA to review cases, but it could take longer if you request an in-person hearing, or if you submit new evidence.

If You Have Already Received A Denial Your Chances Of Approval Are Increased Significantly If You Have Legal Representation

How Long does it take for a VA Claim Process

At the request for reconsideration and hearing levels, an attorney can collect and submit relevant medical evidence, obtain doctors opinions, draft a brief to the ALJ, and prepare you for questioning by the judge. An attorney can also elicit helpful testimony from you and cross-examine vocational and medical experts, demonstrating your inability to work. At the Appeals Council and federal court level, a lawyer can present legal arguments to show your case was wrongfully denied.

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How Is Each Ama Appeal Lane Different

Each of the three AMA Appeal Lanes have different attributes.

  • Supplemental Claim Lane: In this lane, VA will readjudicate your case if new and relevant evidence is presented or identified when the Supplemental Claim request is submitted. VA will undertake to assist the Veteran is gathering new and relevant evidence as part of VAs Duty to Assist. Importantly, new evidence can be submitted in this lane for VA to consider in rendering a new decision on your case.
  • Higher Level Review Lane: In this lane, the VA will NOT consider any new evidence although there is an option for a one-time telephonic conference with the Higher Level Reviewer. The Higher Level Reviewer will conduct a de novo review of the evidence and has the authority to come to a different decision than the prior adjudicator. If the Higher Level Reviewer determines that there was a Duty to Assist error in the prior decision, the case will be sent back for the VAs Duty to Assist to be corrected and a new decision to be issued.
  • BVA Lane: In this lane the claimant has three choices for which docket they want to choose:

Start Your VA Disability Benefits Claim Appeal Today

The backlog of disabled veterans claims and appeals pending with the VA makes it important that any work on your claim is not unduly delayed. Contact George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers today to start the work on your appeal of a faulty VA benefits decision.

Dont go it alone. Dont waste time. George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers today.

Are You A Veteran Who Needs Legal Help To Obtain The Disability Benefits You Deserve

If you are a veteran and you need help receiving the benefits you deserve you should speak with an experienced veterans disability benefits lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Virginia Beach office directly at 757.490.3500 to schedule your free consultation. We have offices throughout Virginia including Chesapeake, Newport News, Norfolk and Suffolk.

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Step #: Va Preparation For Decision Phase

In Step 5 of the VA claim process, your entire VA disability claim file gets sent to the RVSR.

The RVSR will review your entire claim application, medical records, supporting documents, personal statements, buddy letters, any other supporting information, and C& P exam results to make a decision on your VA disability claim.

The RVSR then recommends a decision and begins the process of preparing the necessary documents to detail the decision they have made.

This step normally takes 7-14 business days.

Have Questions About The Appeals Process Our Veterans Law Firm Is Here To Help

New VA claims process promises decisions within 30 days

If you want to appeal the VAs rating decision for your disability claim, the team at Hill and Ponton is here to help. Our veterans disability attorneys put client relationships at the center of our practice, supporting disabled veterans and their families as they seek veterans benefits. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.

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Fully Developed Claim Vs Standard Claim

The VA offers an optional fully developed claim program to allow veterans to receive a faster decision regarding VA disability compensation. The term fully developed claim means that you have provided all information the VA requires when making an approval or denial decision on a disability claim. Here is the information you need to submit for the VA to consider your disability benefits request a fully developed claim:

  • VA Form 21-526EZ, the Application for Disability Compensation and Related Compensation Benefits.
  • Medical records and all other supporting documentation you think will help your case.
  • Check with the VA to ensure that you dont need to provide additional evidence to support your disability claim.
  • Attend your C & P exam and other medical appointments required by the VA.

The VA considers the following appropriate evidence for a fully developed claim:

  • All medical records related to the condition for which you are filing a disability claim, including as a civilian and while completing military service.
  • Any military records that relate to your disability claim.
  • Medical records that you dont currently have in your possession that the VA can request from a federal facility such as a VA hospital.

If I Lose At The Cavc What Then

An appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit can be taken. You and your attorney would need to discuss whether this should be done. Please contact us if you need help. We would love to speak with you about your situation. There is never a charge to find out if you have a case with Woods and Woods

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Appealing To A Veterans Law Judge

If you want to appeal to a judge, an expert in veterans law will review your case at the Board of Veterans Appeals in Washington, D.C. You will be allowed to add new evidence and meet with the judge in person or via video conference as part of this process. If this is the option you wish to pursue, you must file Decision Review Request: Board Appeal .

Appealing to a veterans law judge is the most time consuming of all VA disability appeal options. It will take one year or more for your case to be decided. If you are adding new evidence or requesting to meet with the judge, your case will take longer than a direct review with no new evidence or meeting.

Is As A Disability

How Long Will My Appeal Take?

If you have a severe case of Ankylosing Spondylitis that keeps you from working, you may be eligible to receive monthly disability benefits from the Social Security Administration . AS is a form of inflammatory arthritis that is often diagnosed in young men, but it can impact male or female of any age.

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How Long Does It Take For A Judge To Make A Decision On Ssi

It can take anywhere from two weeks to three months or more. If your lawyer is familiar with the judge, he or she may have an idea of how long that judge is known to take to issue a decision. The average is eight weeks. You can also call your hearing office to ask about the status of your particular case.

Faq: Va Disability Appeal Success Rate & Denial Rates

How long is my VA disability appeal going to take?According to the VA, it could take 5 to 7 years to get a decision from a Veterans Law Judge .

How likely am I to win my VA disability appeal?Your chances of winning a VA appeal are solely based upon the number of conditions you have, their severity, and the strength of your argument.

What if I let my VA disability appeal period end? Veterans that let their VA disability appeal period end can file a new claim and start the application process over. While this isnt the fastest route to VA disability benefits, you still have options if your appeal period ended.

What should I do if I cant work?Veterans that cant work from service-connected impairments might want to consider trying to obtain Total Disability Individual Unemployability benefits. These benefits are specifically designed for veterans that cant work from service-connected disabilities.

Can I get TDIU and SSDI benefits?Veterans that cant work might be eligible to receive both TDIU and SSDI benefits at the same time. You can apply for both benefits at the same time. One benefit may be approved before the other, assisting you while you cant work.

What if I cant work from severe PTSD?Veterans with PTSD and other mental conditions may be eligible to also receive TDIU benefits. VA TDIU ratings for PTSD do not require veterans to obtain a 100% rating, but TDIU benefits pay the same as a 100% rating.

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What Can Veterans Do To Speed Up The Process

Unfortunately, after submitting an appeal and all the necessary evidence, there is not much that a claimant can do in order to speed up the time it takes for VA to decide their appeal. However, veterans can act quickly on certain parts of their claim to prevent further delay in the VA appeals process.

First, a veteran can submit all of their evidence at once. When a veteran files an initial claim, they can submit all of their evidence at that time or file a Fully Developed Claim. This will prevent VA from having to obtain additional evidence and do further development for the claim, and can help prevent delays in the VA appeals process.

Second, veterans can submit their appeals promptly when they receive a decision with which they are not satisfied. VA holds veterans to specific appeal deadlines when they issue a decision, and filing an appeal soon after the decision is issued can prevent any further delays in the process of receiving another decision. Additionally, if a veteran has additional evidence they would like to submit, they can submit it with their appeal so VA has that evidence right when the appeal is filed.

Why Do Va Claims Take So Long

Veterans Appeals Process

The reason is the person who has to decide your claim only has a short amount of time to make a decision having them work harder to find the evidence for your claim. Too much evidence can work against you. To help with this problem, you need to find and add only the evidence for the disabilities you are claiming.

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How Long Does It Take To Receive An Appeal Decision

The Board is required by law to prepare written reasons to inform Veterans of how and why the decision has been made. These are prepared at the Board’s office in Charlottetown and usually mailed within six weeks of the hearing. This time is needed to ensure decisions are well-reasoned and clearly written.

Am I Eligible For Veterans Benefits

If you fall into these three categories it is likely that you are eligible:

  • Active military service
  • The veteran must not have a dishonorable discharge.
  • Your injury or disease must have been incurred or aggravated during active military service, and you must have a current disability related to that disease or injury.

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