You have the legal right to appeal any decision made by the Veterans Benefits Administration, but appeals can often be time-consuming. It typically takes the VA 12 to 18 months to review new appeals and decide whether to grant some or all of an appeal. However, some Veterans may be eligible to have a priority review of their appeal.
Eligibility for Priority Review
A priority review of your appeal is referred to as being Advanced on Docket. If you are over 75 years of age, your appeal automatically receives Advanced on Docket status. You are also eligible if you:
- Have been diagnosed with a terminal illness supported by a physician’s note
- Are experiencing serious financial distress, such as bankruptcy, foreclosure, or homelessness
- Can provide another sufficient cause for an expedited review of your appeal
The law is notably vague on what constitutes “sufficient cause” for an expedited review of your appeal. You should discuss your circumstances with your attorney to determine if this option is suitable for your case.
How to Request Advanced on Docket Status
If you wish to request Advanced on Docket status, you must send a letter to the Board of Veterans Appeals. Your letter should include:
- Your name
- The VA file number for your claim
- The specific reason you want to be moved forward on the docket
Be prepared to provide evidence of the reason for your appeal. For example, if you are requesting priority review because your family home was damaged by a flood, hurricane, earthquake, or another natural disaster, you might want to submit newspaper clippings, photos, and the FEMA declaration in support of your statement.
Why an Experienced Veterans Benefits Attorney Can Help
Waiting to be approved for disability benefits is frustrating, but when you are represented by an experienced Veterans benefits attorney, you can be assured that every step will be taken to make sure your appeal is reviewed as quickly as possible. Call our office today to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation to discuss how we can assist with your VA disability appeal.