Understanding the VA’s New Appeals Process

Claims decisions that were rendered before February 19, 2019, are still subject to the traditional VA appeals process. This includes the steps of filing a Notice of Disagreement and consideration by a Decision Review Officer. However, if your VA decision was given on or after February 19, 2019, there is a new process to follow. A New Orleans veterans benefits attorney can help with your appeal.

You have the right to appeal a VA decision that you feel is inaccurate. That includes denials of compensation benefits or what you believe is an insufficient disability rating. If your decision was given on or after February 19, 2019, you will have to follow the new process.

The primary difference between the new method and the traditional process is that veterans now may choose their appeal path. You have several options, and if you’re not satisfied with the results of one you can choose another. Your New Orleans veterans disability attorney can help you understand these options:

File a Supplemental Claim. The Supplemental Claim is used to add new evidence to your claim for benefits. The evidence you provide must therefore be distinct from what you previously provided in your initial application. If you choose this option, a reviewer will examine the evidence and determine if a new outcome is appropriate.

Higher-level review. Another path is to allow a senior reviewer to examine your claim. In this step, you do not supply new evidence. It is akin to having a supervisor help when you are dealing with a customer service request. The higher-level reviewer will look at your evidence and determine if an error was made by the VA. The reviewer may also determine that another outcome in your claim is possible, based on the evidence.

Appeal directly to a Veterans Law Judge. The traditional process includes a hearing request before a Veterans Law Judge at the Board of Veterans Appeals. The difference here is that you can now appeal to the Board directly and forego the other steps. You may add new evidence and request a hearing before a judge to plead your claim. The hearing can take place in person or via video conference.

You can also appeal directly to the Board of Veterans Appeals without a hearing, and with or without new evidence. Submitting no new evidence, and requesting no hearing, is the quickest way to get a response from the Board.

The benefit of a hearing is being able to plead your case directly to a judge. However, the downside is that resolution of your appeal will be delayed. A hearing is therefore not always the best way to handle your matter. You should ask an experienced veterans benefits attorney to help determine the best course of action.

In general, the hearing (if you choose one) is conducted in the same way as with the traditional appeals process. You are basically having a conversation with an administrative law judge. He or she asks questions about why you appealed and why you believe you’re entitled to higher compensation. A New Orleans veterans disability benefits lawyer can assist in asking you questions as well.

Whichever course you choose, don’t underestimate the advantage of having a lawyer by your side. A skilled veterans benefits attorney understands the processes involved in all appeals paths. Your lawyer will also know what kind of evidence to present and will be mindful of deadlines. Missing deadlines or skipping a critical step can jeopardize your appeal, and ultimately your compensation.

Talk to a New Orleans Disability Attorney For Help With the VA Appeals Process

Appealing your VA decision is no small task, and you have to be prepared for a time-consuming process. Our veterans disability and social security law firm has the experience it takes to make your best argument for more compensation. Don’t miss out on the benefits you deserve. Give us a call and see how we can help.

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