A denial of your VA disability benefits is not the end of the world—although it is certainly frustrating. Many Veterans are awarded benefits on appeal, but it’s critical that you avoid some common mistakes to ensure you have the best possible chance of getting the benefits you need to help support yourself and your family.
1. Check to Make Sure You’re Using VA-Form 9 Correctly
VA Form 9, also known as the Substantive Appeal Form, arrives with your Statement of the Case (SOC). Completing the form gives the Regional Office an outline of your appeal.
You should not use VA Form 9 to bring up new claims submitted for the first time or use the form to request a local office hearing. Pay close attention to the deadline on the form, as a missed deadline can cause you to forfeit your right to an appeal.
2. Don’t Resubmit Evidence
Submitting new evidence in support of your claim is a smart move. Submitting copies of information the VA already has will only slow down the process.
Note that if you have new evidence to submit to the Board of Veterans' Appeals, you must include a written or typed statement saying that you waive consideration of the new evidence by the local VA office. If you submit evidence to the Board without including a waiver, your case could be remanded for review. This will only delay the final decision.
3. Don’t Forgo Legal Assistance
VA benefits laws are constantly changing, which makes it difficult to understand your legal rights. Having an experienced Veterans benefits lawyer to advocate on your behalf is the best way to protect your right to the benefits you earned while serving your country.
The office of Sean Kendall, Attorney-at-Law, can help you document your disability, establish its service connection, and maximize your disability compensation. Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation to discuss how we can help with the appeals process.