What Is Va Financial Hardship
Financial hardship for purposes of requesting expediting of your VA disability claim means that you, the veteran, are unable to earn enough income to pay essential expenses such as housing payments or medical expenses relating to your disability. Minor hardships are not sufficient; the VA needs to find that the financial hardship is extreme. If you are getting collection notices from credits, facing eviction or foreclosure, needing to file bankruptcy, or having your utilities cut off, are the types of extreme conditions that may be sufficient for expedited treatment of your disability claim.;;
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What Types Of Claims And Appeals Can I Track With This Tool
You can use this tool to check the status of a VA claim or appeal for compensation. Track your:
- Disability compensation
- Veterans or Survivors Pension benefits
- Special monthly compensation
- Dependency and Indemnity Compensation
- Burial allowance to help pay for a Veterans burial and funeral expenses
You can also use this tool to check the status of a claim or appeal for other benefits like these:
- VA health care
- GI Bill or other education benefits
- Veteran Readiness and Employment
- A home loan Certificate of Eligibility
- A Specially Adapted Housing or Special Housing Adaptation grant
- Life insurance
- A pre-need determination of eligibility to be buried in a VA national cemetery
File A Notice Of Disagreement
For those who received a denial prior to February 19, 2019, the only way that you can start an appeal of your claim is by filing a Notice of Disagreement form with your Regional Office . Without this NOD form;you wont be able to start the appeals process.
The NOD states that you disagree with the decision you received regarding your claim for disability compensation. The NOD form is the only way to begin your appeal process when you disagree with VAs decision on your claim for disability compensation.
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Appealing Under The Legacy Va Appeals System
The Legacy appeals system only involves one lane in the veterans claims process.; In other words, all veterans appealing unfavorable decisions will go through the following steps:
1. Veteran files a claim.
2. Local Regional Office will issue a Rating Decision that grants, denies, or partially grants the claim.
3. Veteran has one year;to file a Notice of Disagreement , which is filed on VA Form 21-0958.
- The NOD should include the date of the denial and rating decision, a clearly worded statement explaining that the veteran disagrees with the findings of the denial, and a statement indicating that the veteran intends to appeal the decision.
4, Veteran then waits for a;Statement of the Case;, explaining why the claim was denied or only partially granted.
- If the claim is granted following the Notice of Disagreement, the veteran will likely receive a Decision Review Officer Decision.
5. Veteran has;60 days;from when VA issues the SOC to file a VA Form 9 Substantive Appeal to the Board of Veterans Appeals.
6. The Board will then issue a decision granting, denying, or remanding the case for further action.
- If a veteran is appealing a denial from the Board, he or she has;120 days to appeal to the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims ;
- If the veterans claim is denied by the CAVC, he or she has;60 days;to appeal to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit .
What Qualifies As Advanced Age
You can also request an expedited disability determination on the basis of advanced age. Advanced age for purposes of seeking expedited handling of your disability claim is generally 85 years of age or older, but for matters at the Board of Veterans Appeals, the qualifying age is 75 years of age or older.;How to get an expedited disability determination
In order to apply to have your claim expedited, veterans who meet the criteria for one of the above categories will need to submit a Priority Processing Request via VA Form 20-10207.; The five-page form contains instructions for applying to have your claim expedited.
To make a request based on financial hardship, the veteran will need to fill out VA form 10-10hs. This simple form asks for the reason for the financial hardship . Attached supporting documentation If you are in the process of a claims appeal and have an attorney, talk with them about this process.
Requests that are based upon illness will require military records of discharge, or medical records establishing the military operation-related injury/illness or terminal illness from other causes. To request that the VA obtain your private medical records, youll need to complete and submit VA Form 21-4142 or 21-4142a.
Requests based on your status as a former POW, Medal of Honor, or Purple Heart recipients should include DD Form 214, or other records verifying this status.
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The Dro Review Option On An Nod
When you file the NOD or shortly afterward, youll have an option to elect Decision Review Officer review; a DRO is a senior RO rating specialist, who will have more experience than the person who originally decided the claim but will apply basically the same approach.; For this reason, DROs are generally good at recognizing overt or obvious errorsfailing to obtain a medical exam, for instancebut they are not likely to overturn an RO decision where theres a judgment call involved, such as the adequacy of a C&P exam or opinion.; Whether you devote the several months that will be consumed by a DRO review depends on how likely you think it is that the DRO will fix the particular problem.; If you decline DRO review, or if the DRO continues the denial of the claim, then VA will issue a Statement of the Case .
Speeding Up Your Va Disability Claims
You may;be in need of;having your claims and appeals decided quicker than the average wait times. If you meet any of the conditions below, you could be qualified to request an expedited VA disability claim.;
- Financial Hardship or Homelessness experiencing extreme financial hardship, or if you are homeless or soon to be homeless.;
- Advance Age the Regional Offices age requirement is 85 years of age or older, and the Boards requirement is 75 years of age or older.;
- Terminally Ill The VA must prioritize claims for those who are terminally ill. You must submit evidence of a terminal illness;in order for;the VA the expedite your claim.;
There is currently no way to tell how much faster your claim will be decided given any of the above conditions. But given you have the above conditions they would be priority claims which would be handled first before non-priority claims. The only issue is that theres more than one expedited claim, so youll still be waiting in line.;
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Tip #8 Ask For Help If You Need It And Dont Give Up
If you feel as though you need assistance at any point, do not hesitate to reach out for help. VSOs, accredited representatives, and accredited attorneys can assist you. This process can become complexdo not be afraid to reach out for help. Do not give up on your VA claim if you have been denied or if the process seems endless. You have earned these benefits.
Appealing A Reopened Claim
Once the VA issues a new rating decision, you may not be satisfied with their decision. What happens if your reopened VA claim is denied? Are your chances of receiving benefits gone? No, they are not. You still have the opportunity to appeal any decisionmade on a reopened claim. If you need assistance appealing your reopened claim, contact Berry Law.
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You Can Reopen A Veterans Disability Claim If You Have New Important Evidence
If you were denied veterans benefits and you have exhausted your appeals , or you missed the appeal deadlines, you may not be out of luck, and you don’t necessarily have to start a new claim for benefits to try again.
While you always have the right to start your veterans benefits claim over again , it can be a pretty daunting process after you have already been wading through the VA bureaucracy for months or years. There is another option that may be open to you, and that is to request that the VA Regional Office “reopen” your original claim.
How To Start Your Va Appeal
To get started on your appeal, you will need to file a notice of Disagreement and Odie with the Department of Veterans of Affairs. The deadline were presenting a claims appeal is precisely one year from the date of the decision was sent to you, not the day you received the notice.;
You will need to use VA form 21 0958. By using this form, you can appeal the denial of your disability claim. Dont attempt to contact the VA and via phone or email. He will refer you to the form, which is the only way to appeal your denial claim.;
Within the Notice of Disagreement, you will explain in detail what disability compensation was denied. Some information that is on the NOD will be service connection percentage of disability and effective date a few things that will be explained.;
To get assistance on your NOD, you can contact the VA help you fill out or your vehicle, so that helped you out. Remember to have all the information before contacting the VA. not having all the information beforehand will delay the process will further your claims process. Heres the link for the NOD.
Your appeal letter will start with your name and date. You will then provide the disability you are appealing. Ensure you get with your VSO and refer to the denial letter the VA sent to you.;
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Veterans Appeals Deadlines Under The Appeals Modernization Act
Under Appeals Reform, veterans will still receive a Rating Decision after every claim is filed.; However, if a veteran disagrees with VAs decision, he or she has one year to appeal by choosing one of the following three lanes: the higher-level review lane, supplemental claim lane, or Notice of Disagreement lane .; After appealing through one of those three lanes, veterans will then receive another decision.; Specifically, both the higher-level review and supplemental claim lanes will yield additional Rating Decisions while the Notice of Disagreement lane will produce a Board decision.
Upon receiving a decision on their first appeal via one of these three appeal lanes, veterans have the option to file a subsequent appeal.; However, there are some important stipulations to note:
Think About Your Va Disability Rating Appeal Like A Lawyer
Before you file a VA Disability rating appeal, dissect your claim like a VA Disability compensation lawyer would. Dont just submit your VA Disability rating appeal mindlessly without a legal strategy.
First, think about your claim are you filing a claim because you were denied service-connection or were you rated too low? File your VA Disability rating appeal to execute the legal strategy you are going to follow. If you were denied service-connection, you are going to want to show the VA why your disability is related to your service. If you were rated too low, you are going to want to show the VA how your disabilities are worse than your rating.
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Va Disability Sample Appeal Letter
Lets take a look at a VA disability sample appeal. After six months of patiently waiting, you are excited to know the outcome of your disability claims. Youre currently at 70% and filed in for sleep apnea. When you receive the letter, you are shocked by the denial of your VA your claim. Youre confused because you had someone walk you through the process, I thought you provided ample documentation. youre confused and angry.;
What to do now? First thing on your mind, you have to backtrack what was said and done. If you worked with a VSO, you would ask them precisely what caused the denial. Remember, just because you submitted a claim with ample documentation doesnt guarantee a success rate. Read that sentence again.
Many veterans face denials, and its perfectly normal. Did you know that 80% of veterans are underrated? Why do you think veterans are frustrated with claims denial? There is more to just submitting documentation online. Here is the thing it is all about how you present the information. In all cases, every veteran will have a different situation there for having an unusual circumstance.
Once you have contacted your VSO or the person that helps you write your claim, it is time to start drafting your VA appeal letter. The VA appeal letter will need to be clear, concise, and provide specific information to the VA. Writing the VA appeal letter is very crucial, especially when appealing to the situation.
A Legacy Appeal Follows These Steps
Note: New appeals are no longer accepted through the legacy process.
Notice of Disagreement was filed
For old decisions, you had to have filed a Notice of Disagreement within one year of the date on your claim decision letter. This VA form is no longer in use, and new appeals are no longer accepted using this legacy appeals process.
For new disagreements with decisions dated before February 19, 2019, you’ll need to file a Supplemental Claim.;For disagreements with decisions dated February 19, 2019, or later, you’ll need to use the;new .
We send;you a Statement of the Case
After you file;your Notice of Disagreement,;we review;all the evidence related to your appeal, including any new evidence you sent. If we determine;that there wasnt enough evidence to fully grant your appeal, we send;you our findings in a document called a Statement of the Case .
If you disagree with our;Statement of the Case
Note: At this step you may be able to opt in to the new decision review process.
For a Statement of the Case dated before February 19, 2019, you must continue with this legacy appeals process.Return VA Form 9 ;to the VA regional office within 60 days from the date on the Statement of the Case to continue your appeal.;
For a Statement of the Case dated on or after February 19, 2019,;you have 2;options.
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How Can I Speed Up My Va Disability Claim
VA Disability claims can take several years to process and sometimes that creates serious financial challenges to the veteran and his/her family. There are a few ways, however, to accelerate the process of getting a claim determination. If you can document that you meet any of the following criteria, you may be able to speed up the processing of your claim: financial hardship, homelessness, certain illnesses, former POW or award recipients, and/or advanced age.;
Sample Va Appeal Letter
When writing your appeal letter, you must be straight to the point and do your best not to deviate. The intent is to keep it simple yet provide enough details for the VA to make a sound decision. It may sound counter-intuitive to keep it half a page, but it will do more good than harm. Why?;
The NOD is where the information will be explained. The letter is to pinpoint any errors and not tell the VA why you disagree with their decision. Again, the NOD will state the factual information for them to decide.
On the very top of the page, you want to put your name, address, phone number, and email. The information below will serve as a letterhead and also be presentable. See below for format:
You will address the person that you are writing starting with Dear , and will start another paragraph stating that you are writing the appeal letter from the VAs decision. The first paragraph will briefly talk about your history and what caused your disability. Ensure you match what is in your medical records. It would be a great idea to have your medical records readily available to reference them.
The following is an example of how to write to the VA:
My goal is to get a job to pay the bills. I ask the VA to review my medical records and reconsider their original decision.
This letter format is straight to the point, and you do not have to use it. As always, its great to have a form to follow to make it easier for you.
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What Types Of Claims Can Be Reopened
Not all types of VA disability claims are eligible to be reopened. Generally, claims that you can request to have reopened are claims for:
- service-connected disability compensation
- dependency indemnity compensation , or
- burial benefits.
Other types of benefit denials, such as denials of VA pensions or increased disability ratings, must be refiled as brand new claims.
Common Causes Of Service
In order to qualify for VA disability for bronchitis, the illness must be related to your service. Bronchitis is a common illness after military service, and is most commonly caused when veterans breathe in airborne toxins, including:
- Cigarette smoke
Your lawyer will work with you and your medical providers to establish the likely cause of your bronchitis.
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