U.S. military veterans deserve compensation for illnesses and injuries they suffer because of their service, but sadly, many disabled veterans face an ongoing battle to receive much-needed disability benefits.
The VA unfairly denies many claims and makes critical errors in processing that reduce benefits to otherwise qualified veterans.
Common VA disability errors
While the VA should be working to protect veterans, it often neglects the former service members who need help the most. A few common but critical failures on behalf of VA representatives include:
- Denial of service connection
- Failure to provide a medical exam
- Determination of the wrong disability rating
- Notation of the wrong effective date
- Refusal of additional entitlements
If the VA denies your claim, partially or entirely, you can and should appeal the decision.
Appealing VA decisions
As of February 2019, all new VA appeals follow the Veteran Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act (AMA). There are three avenues for filing an appeal:
- Supplemental Claims: adding new evidence to your claim that affects your rating
- Higher-Level Review: requesting a senior agent to review your original claim
- Board Appeals: appealing to a Veteran Law Judge for a review or hearing of your evidence
It is important to submit as much supporting evidence as possible. Timing is also very important when submitting VA claims and appeals.
If the VA makes you feel like you are running in circles trying to access your benefits, do not give up. The process may seem confusing and complicated, but you are not alone, and you should not settle for less than you deserve.