Approaches to Take If Your VA Claim Is Denied


Thousands of veterans have their VA claim applications denied yearly. It often leaves them frustrated and confused about what the future holds. Luckily, there are several approaches to overturn the VA’s decision based on your claim and the facts supporting it.

All veterans can appeal the VA’s decision regarding their injury and disability claims. If your application gets denied, the best approach to take is appealing. You must submit a Notice of Disagreement to the VA within a year from the denial letter’s date. On the Notice of Disagreement, indicate that you disagree with the VA’s decision on your claim.

Click here for professional help to appeal the VA’s decision and insights into all the legal proceedings involved. Here is what to do if your VA claim is denied and how an attorney will help.

Higher Level Review

One of the easiest and most effective approaches to appealing your VA claim is requesting a Higher Level Review. It involves having an experienced Decision Review Officer take a fresh look at your claim and review it wholly. It’s crucial that the review officer was not part of the team that made the original decision.

If you think the VA made a mistake while reviewing your claim, this approach will help significantly. Getting a fair review takes a shorter time than having a judge review your case again. HLR proceedings also don’t accept new evidence submissions; you’ll need to consider other approaches.

File for Higher Level Review when;

  • The VA made a processing error
  • Your rating and evidence provided don’t match
  • The VA didn’t consider all the evidence
  • There are signs of inadequate reasons and basis
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Supplemental Claim

The supplemental claim approach is another option when appealing your VA claim. It’s ideal if you want to introduce new and relevant evidence that wasn’t in the original claim. There are no limitations to the number of issues you can address with a supplemental claim, but you must list them when filing.

Submit the file to your regional VA office and wait. It’d help to know the evidence and claim history to understand your case better. Sometimes, the VA might request an examination to substantiate your supplemental claim. The process takes 4 to 5 months, and you have one year to file the claim.

The supplemental claim approach is perfect for veterans who believe they received an unfavorable decision and have new evidence to submit to the VA. The following are other situations this approach will help:

  • If your rating and symptoms don’t match
  • If you wish to re-open a claim based on new and relevant evidence
  • If the BVA denied your appeal

Board of Veterans’ Appeal

Your final option would be appealing directly to the Board of Veteran’s Appeals. It’s the slowest track to getting your case reviewed, as it takes longer for the judges to review the facts and make a new decision. Luckily, trained Veteran Law Judges review cases and weigh claim evidence faster.

When using this approach, you must file the NOD with the VA Form 10182. The following are the three options for filing an appeal to the BVO:

  • Direct docket where a VLJ reviews all current evidence
  • Evidence docket where the review accepts new evidence
  • Hearing docket where you present your appeal directly to a VLJ
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Most veterans don’t get the compensation they deserve because they lack knowledge of the legal system. Finding a professional attorney will help you understand and gain more control over the claims process, allowing you to get the rating and compensation you deserve. If your claim was denied, use the information shared here to appeal your case and increase your rating.