After receiving a decision from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, you may not be completely satisfied with the decision made on your claim. This can be a result of either being denied or perhaps less that you believe is a fair amount.
Fortunately, you have the option to appeal the initial decision made and possibly get a better outcome.
A claimant has one year from the date of the notification of a VA decision to file an appeal. You may appeal a complete or partial denial of your claim or you may appeal the level (i.e. the amount) of benefit granted.
Here is some helpful information on what steps need to be taken and how much time you need to file an appeal.
The first step in the appeal process is to file a written appeal with the local VA regional office or medical center that made the decision. This is not a special form; it is simply your written statement that you disagree with your local VA office’s claim determination, and that you want to appeal it. This is an informal appellate process within the regional office. The DRO has the authority to reverse or modify a VA rating board decision. We recommend that you contact us to help with this process.
After receiving your appeal, the VA office will send you a summary of reasons behind its ruling. Be sure to fill out and mail back any forms the VA send you no later than 60 days after your Statement of the Case was mailed out, or within one year from the date your original determination was mailed to you, whichever is later.
The VA office will forward all claim materials to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals. It will notify you when it sends these materials out. You have 90 days after this notification is mailed to submit additional evidence, appoint or change legal representation for your claim, or ask for a hearing.
The Board will conduct hearings, upon request, review your appeal and issue a decision. It will either grant, remand or deny your appeal. If your appeal is denied, you have 120 days to file another appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. You can also submit a CUE motion or filing reconsideration motion to the Board of Veterans Appeals, or reopen the case at your local VA office. The 120-day deadline is the same for all these appeals.
If the Board of Veterans’ Appeals denies your request, you can file a new claim or make a motion for the Board of Veterans’ Appeals to reconsider your appeal. There are no time limits if you take these actions.
If the Board of Veterans’ Appeals denies your request, you also have the right to appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans’ Claims. You have 120 days from the date of the Board of Veterans’ Appeals decision to file with the court.
While looking over these deadlines, keep in mind that the faster you move through the appeal process steps, the faster you will receive your decision and benefits. Because the process can take so long and because there are often delays, taking the necessary steps on your appeal as quickly as possible will minimize the time you will wait.
Don’t Appeal Alone!
All Veterans have the right to work with an experienced Veterans’ disability lawyer to assist you in obtaining a fair recovery you deserve. Please feel free to contact us at yourinjurylawyer.com or by phone at 239- 549-6689 to discuss your options before it is too late to take action.