VA Disability Claim Denied?
By some estimates, roughly 30% of VA disability claims are denied each year. Has the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) denied your claim? Vetus Legal helps veterans of every branch of the U.S. military—along with their survivors and dependents—receive the VA disability benefits to which they are entitled.
Disability Claim Eligibility
The first step in determining why your claim was denied is to ensure you are eligible for VA disability benefits. Veterans must prove they meet the eligibility criteria outlined in a VA disability claim.
Definition of a Qualifying Veteran
The VA defines a qualifying veteran as one that meets specific requirements regarding service period and type of discharge. Service period requirements vary depending on the years in which the veteran served.
For an individual to be considered a qualifying veteran, their service period must have been either 24 consecutive months or for the entire service period in which they were called to active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty for training.
Exceptions to the service period requirements include:
- Veterans who served prior to Sept. 7, 1980
- Veterans who were discharged due to hardship
- Veterans who were discharged after a disability that was made worse or caused by their service in active duty
Dishonorable discharges generally disqualify a veteran from VA disability compensation. “Other than Honorable” discharges may disqualify the veteran from disability benefits. Still, exceptions exist that allow VA to find such veteran’s service to be sufficiently honorable.
Have a Current Disability
Of course, an essential requirement for VA disability benefits in California is that the veteran is indeed disabled. It’s a good idea for veterans filing for benefits to think about any and all ailments and health issues they suffer from and make a list of them.
It helps the veteran during the claims process if they seek medical treatment for the health issues they’re experiencing instead of just “sucking it up.” Being treated for these conditions will create official documentation outside the claim process confirming the health problems they’re experiencing.
Show the Current Disability is Related to Recognized Service
A veteran filing a VA disability claim must be able to prove that the disabling condition is connected to their service.
Veterans should include the following to help the VA verify that the disability resulted from service:
- A medical nexus letter from a qualified, medically-trained expert
- Physician documentation
- Complete medical records
- Buddy statements from family, friends, or service members explaining their observations of the frequency, severity, and duration of the symptoms they see and when they first observed them
What Happens if My VA Disability Claim in California is Denied?
The most common reason claims are denied is lack of sufficient evidence, followed by failure to meet eligibility criteria. Veterans seeking disability benefits should consult with an experienced VA attorney to ensure their claim is processed correctly and all necessary evidence is presented.
Appealing Your Denied VA Disability Claim
If the VA denies your disability claim, it does not mean the fight is over. You have the right to appeal the VA’s decision. It is essential to look at the denial letter and identify why the VA has denied your claim. This information will be important when building your case for a VA appeal.
The process is more intensive if you need to go with the option that includes a hearing. The help of a VA attorney will go a long way in guiding you through the appeals process and ensuring a favorable outcome.
Top VA Disability Lawyers in California
At Vetus Legal, our goal is to advocate for your rights and legal benefits as a veteran of the United States Armed Forces or other recognized Uniformed Services.
If the VA has denied your compensation claims, we’re here to work for you by addressing claim denials at the following levels:
We will diligently review your claim, inspect the VA’s decision, and assess your case with expert eyes to give you a candid assessment of your claims.
Contact us today for a free case evaluation.
VA Claim Lawyers Serving California
If you’ve been denied crucial Veterans’ disability benefits, remember that you don’t have to walk this complicated road alone. Vetus Legal can be by your side every step and advocate for you and help you obtain every VA compensation benefit you deserve.