Have I Received a VA Claim Disability Denial?

Have I Received a VA Claim Disability Denial?

By Veterans Affairs Law posted on July 14, 2023

How do service members know when they’ve been denied disability status by the Veterans Affairs (VA) office?

Alas, the VA will not notify you via phone, email, or regular mail. You’ll have to be proactive about checking this yourself. It’s also important not to fall for any scams from anyone who contacts you pretending to be the VA (and soliciting personal information).

Here’s what you should know about VA disability claim denials, and how to fight them.

Check the VA.Gov Website for Approval/Denial Status

You can discover your claim status fast by visiting the VA.gov website. After filing your claim, it normally takes about four months for them to decide.

Once they do, if you’ve received approval, then you can download the award letter from their website. Approval letters will show you the disability rating, the effective date, and what you’ll receive. It’s also possible to appeal if you believe there is an error anywhere on the approval letter (i.e., the rating or amount you’ll receive).

How to Handle a Denial

Then, if you receive a disability denial, you’ll want to read everything carefully. At the top of the letter, the VA will show you how much time you have left to make an appeal (one year following the initial decision). This letter will also explain what contributed to the denial, citing the evidence they used to reach their decision.

There are three ways to appeal adverse rulings:

  1. Higher Level Review - Here, you cannot add additional evidence to your claim, but you can have a more senior or supervisory VA official review your case to see if there was a mistake in the process. This involves VA Form 0996.
  2. Supplemental Claim - This allows you to bolster your case with new evidence. This might include getting more medical opinions, other medical records, or even testimony from friends or colleagues. This appeal goes through VA Form 0995.
  3. Appealing to the Board of Veterans - You can also take your appeal to an administrative law judge, but this takes a very long time to process. Some claims may go unanswered for three years, leading many veterans to try the other options first. You would file this appeal through VA Form 10182.

Don’t Forget to Ask for Help

Finally, if you think the denial was wrong, then you have the right to appeal. If you do so, it’s well worth your time to obtain legal sponsorship. That’s where we offer our assistance to anyone who's been denied benefits or disability claims.

Veterans Affairs Law offers professional guidance for pursuing a denial appeal and finally gaining what the VA owes you for your years of service. We help Florida veterans make their way through all the overwhelming VA red tape and move on with life (with benefits). Contact us anytime to learn more about our effective veteran legal services by calling our Sarasota office at 941-552-6677.

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Please call us at (941) 552-6677 or fill out the form below and someone from our team will be in touch shortly.

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