Finding out your claim for disability benefits has been denied is frustrating, but it’s important not to give up hope. Many claims are approved on appeal, and having access to quality legal representation greatly increases your odds of being awarded benefits.
In 2017, 39.49% of appeals were approved with an attorney, while only 24.42% were approved with no representative. In 2018, the percentage of appeals approved with an attorney was 44.61%, while only 27.22% of appeals were approved with no representative. In 2019, 46.31% of appeals were approved with an attorney, while only 26.18% were approved with no representative.
How Attorneys Build Successful Appeals
Why is an attorney so helpful when you are preparing for a BVA appeal? Here are some of the ways that attorneys build strong cases:
- Attorneys know to rely on medical evidence. Relevant medical evidence and reports from qualified medical professionals build the strongest possible case. Doctors, psychologists, and vocational experts should be consulted to evaluate your condition. Do not simply rely on the results of your C-File to explain your disability.
- Attorneys focus on a central argument. This is not the time to float every theory under the sun. You need to present a concise vision of why your disability is service-connected and how it affects your daily life.
- Attorneys service-connect secondary conditions when possible. Veterans with more service-connected disabilities are more likely to receive higher schedular ratings. For example, a TBI may lead to depression, dementia, migraines, seizures, and visual problems. PTSD may lead to sleep apnea, migraines, hypertension, and erectile dysfunction.
- Attorneys use buddy statements to help prove events that may not have been recorded. If your service record is missing proof of a key event in your case, buddy statements from people you served with can help corroborate your account of the event. This is particularly important in cases involving PTSD or mental health issues related to service.
Call our office today to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation to discuss how our experienced Veterans benefits attorney can assist with your VA disability appeal.