Contact Us for Help Now
Created with your needs in mind, our resource center is available for you.
Career & Training
Veterans Homeless & Housing Resources
Tips for Filing A Disability Claim
Find a Local VA Center
Family Member Support
The Latest News
Posted By George Sink, P.A. Injury LawyersWashington (CNN) – The leader of a major veterans group is urging President Donald Trump to “reconsider” his appointment of a Defense Department official to serve as the acting secret...
Table of Contents
You are not alone if your initial application for veterans disability benefits has been denied. Many valid claims are at first rejected – or rated too low – by the VA. Many disabled veterans go on to get the benefits they deserve through the appeals process.
Don’t go it alone in the appeals process if your claim has been denied. Get help from the veterans disability attorneys at George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers.
George Sink Sr. knows the VA system personally because he was injured in Vietnam and later recovered disability benefits. Now he and his staff of attorneys and legal professionals fight for the rights of other disabled vets who need help with a claim that was improperly denied.
Why should you choose George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers to help you appeal your denied claim?
- We are ready when you are. We’re available 24/7 to get started on your case.
- No risk consultation. FREE consultations and claim reviews to get started right away.
- Experience and track record of success. Our firm has been trusted by many disabled veterans that have secured benefits with our help.
Good Results. Happy Clients.
“I could see right away the first time I spoke to somebody that I did the right thing.”- Robert W. -Disabled Vet- Actual Client¹
“The government makes it hard to get your benefits but George Sink injury lawyers made it easy.”- Julius F. -Disabled Vet- Actual Client¹
“I really felt for the first time somebody was in my corner. He’s a Veteran and I’m a Veteran. That’s why I called George Sink.”- Alvin A. -Disabled Vet- Actual Client¹
Why Did the VA Deny Your Claim?
It’s no secret that the VA is an overburdened government agency. In far too many cases, the VA makes mistakes and rejects an application for veterans disability benefits outright. In many other cases, VA officials unfairly rate an applicant’s level of impairment far lower than it truly is.
Some of the reasons why the VA may reject a claim for benefits include:
- Failure to prove that the disabling condition resulted from an injury during active duty
- Failure to prove that the disabling condition began during active duty
- Failure to prove that the disabling condition is related to military service
- Failure to prove that the disabling condition exists
Even when you get all this right, an error in reviewing the paperwork may be the reason why the VA wrongly denies a claim. It’s also possible that there was an error in the application, missing documents or some other issue. In any event, the good news is that there is an appeals process that gives disabled veterans another chance to get the monthly cash benefits they are actually entitled to.
How to Appeal a Denied Claim for Veterans Disability Benefits
There are multiple levels of review or appeal for a denied veterans disability claim. The three most common stages are:
- Filing a Notice of Disagreement and seeking review of your case by the local VA office
- Appealing to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals
- Appealing to the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans’ Claims
This process may sound intimidating. That’s why you need help from lawyers who know the system and understand what it takes to pursue an appeal of a rejected claim. George Sink Injury is himself a disabled veteran – and many of the team at the firm served in the military. We deal with the VA appeals process all the time, and we are ready to put our experience to work for you.
With the backlog of appeals pending with the VA, there is often a lengthy wait for an appeal review. Our attorneys are ready to do everything in our power to help your appeal move smoothly and as quickly as possible toward a positive resolution.
It is also critical for you to take quick action after you have received notice that your claim has been denied.
Filing a Notice of Disagreement (NOD) and Seeking Review of a Denied Claim
The VA appeals process begins when you correctly and timely file a VA Form-21-0958 notifying the VA that you disagree with the decision and that you want to appeal it. This statement is known as a Notice of Disagreement (NOD). The attorneys at George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers can prepare a NOD for you and file it with the VA to get you off on the right foot.
When the VA reviews your appeal, if the denial decision is upheld, you will be sent a statement that outlines the agency’s position regarding your case. This document is known as a Statement of the Case (SOC). You will also receive a form to request a review by the Board of Veteran Appeals. This form is known as VA Form 9, or the Substantive Appeal Form.
The lawyers at George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers can help you (fill out the form, making sure that it is complete and correct. This form should outline the reasons why it was an error for the VA to have denied your case.
NOTE: There are tight deadlines for submitting the VA Form 9. You generally have 60 days from when the VA sent you the SOC or one year after the VA sent you the initial claim rejection – whichever is later.
It is very important to prepare a very strong case when appealing a denied claim. Your claim can often be aided by additional evidence like additional medical records and lay evidence that were not presented in your initial application. It may be a good idea to consult with an experienced professional who can perform a “review of your file.” After such review, they can prepare an opinion regarding your case.
The VA Disability Appeals Process
When appealing a denied claim for veterans disability benefits to the Board of Veterans Appeals, you have the choice of an in-person hearing or a hearing by video conference. An in-person hearing and a video hearing is typically held at your local VA office, though you may request a hearing at the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA) in Washington, D.C. Most claimants choose either a local in-person hearing or a video conference with the BVA.
The hearing is typically brief and informal. You will have an opportunity to present testimony on why you are entitled to disability benefits. You can also present evidence to support your case.
It is very helpful to be represented by an attorney before and during the hearing. Your lawyer can present your case in the best light and make sure evidence and questions are handled properly. Keep in mind that it’s not the BVA’s role to help you put on a strong case. That’s why you need an attorney who has your best interests at heart.
In virtually all cases, the BVA will not make a decision during the hearing. The BVA will review the evidence and a transcript of the hearing before making a decision on whether to approve your claim, deny it or request more information before making a decision.
You may still have some options for further review if the BVA upholds the denial of your claim. For example, you may:
- Request your local VA to reopen your claim.
- Ask the BVA to reconsider the claim because of an error in its decision.
- Appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims and later to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court.
Denied Claim for Veterans Disability Benefits? Take Action Now!
At George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers, we’re ready to talk whenever you are. We’re standing by 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Find out now how we can help you with your denied veterans disability benefits claim. Call us or contact us online for a claim review that is absolutely free and comes with no risk and no obligations.