If you apply for veterans benefits only to have your application denied, you can appeal. When you appeal a decision that you believe is wrong you are basically asking the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA) to review the decision to deny benefits that was made by your VA regional office. The BVA will accept any request for review.
Over 90 percent of the appeal requests that are made are those made by veterans that believe the decision made by the regional office of the VA was wrong, the reasons being:
* The regional VA office denied benefits that you believe are a result of your service, or
* You are of the opinion that your disability is worse than the VA rated it
Even though these are the common reasons for appealing, you can appeal for any grounds whatsoever.
Starting the ball rolling:
In many cases the first thing the veteran will do is consult with lawyers specializing in veterans benefits. The first contact with the VA is when you or your lawyer submits a NOD, Notice of Disagreement directly to the regional office that denied your initial claim. The NOD is nothing special, it is little more than putting the VA on notice that you intend appealing their denial of benefits.
Upon receipt of your NOD the regional office will schedule a review of your case. In the event the officials approve your claim, there is nothing left to do. However, approval of benefits at this stage is rare.
The regional office will provide you with a SOC, Statement of the Case; this is the boards way of transmitting their decision not to reverse their original decision.
If you are convinced you warrant disability benefits your case will be elevated to the Board of Veterans Appeals in Washington D.C. It is at this stage of the process that the greatest majority of applicants decide to hire lawyers specializing in veterans benefits.
If your request to review the denial of benefits fails at the regional level this is the time to discuss your situation with lawyers specializing in veterans benefits. You are invited to contact Jackson & MacNichol Law Offices.
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