In most cases, it is best to go through the complete appeals process. However, filing a new claim can sometimes be the appropriate course of action. Always consult with an attorney experienced in Veterans disability benefits to determine the best way to proceed with your claim. Your goal is to find a way to preserve the maximum level of benefits you are entitled to receive.
Filing a New Claim for Benefits
Times where it may be appropriate to file a new claim include:
- You have recently received a new diagnosis of a disabling condition related to your military service.
- Your service-connected disability has worsened since you were first granted benefits, and you now believe you are entitled to an increased rating.
- You missed the one-year deadline to appeal a denial of your previous application.
If you are going to file a new claim, it is important to submit new evidence with your application for disability benefits. If you file a new claim using the same information as your initial application, you will likely receive another denial. Types of evidence that may be used to support your application include:
- Military records
- Diagnostic tests
- Doctor's reports
- Buddy statements from people with firsthand knowledge of your condition
- Evidence showing how your disability prevents you from obtaining substantially gainful employment (if you wish to apply for TDIU benefits)
How Filing a New Claim Can Cost You Overdue Benefits
When you file a new claim for benefits, you generally lose the effective date assigned to your original claim. Depending on the circumstances, this could potentially cost you tens of thousands of dollars in lost benefits.
If you have the option to continue in the appeals process, it is usually best that you do so. There is no limit to the number of times you can appeal your original disability application.
Get the Benefits You Deserve
The best way to protect your right to the benefits you've earned in service of your country is to work with an experienced Veterans benefits attorney who can ensure your application is prepared appropriately and gather the necessary evidence to strengthen your appeal. The office of Sean Kendall, Attorney-at-Law, can help you document your disability, establish a service connection, and maximize your available compensation. Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation.