Do not become disheartened if the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has sent you a rejection letter and a rating determination regarding your benefits. It’s not uncommon for initial requests for veterans’ disability benefits to be turned down, but you do have the right to appeal the decision. You must submit a Notice of Disagreement (NOD) to the VA to appeal the decision. The following is some counsel regarding the submission of a NOD and the request for an appeal.
The cutoff date for Submitting a Veterans’ Appeal
You have a year to submit the notice of disagreement after it was given to you. Please take note that the deadline for submitting the NOD is one year from the day that the verdict was mailed to you, not the day that you got it in your hands. So make sure you adhere to the rules of the VA disability appeals deadline.
Which Information Should You Include on the NOD?
Inform the Veterans Administration in your Notice of Disagreement that you do not concur with the decision. Your appeal may be hampered if you start describing all of the grounds why you disagree with the VA’s decision in your NOD. Maintain a general tone; in this way, if you fail to address a particular concern, you will still have the opportunity to include it in your plea later.
Inform the VA that you intend to file an appeal of the judgment. Once more, you are not required to explain to the VA the precise decisions with which you take issue. The most crucial thing is to clarify that you intend to file an appeal over the decision to withhold benefits from you.
Be careful to include the phrase “Notice of Disagreement” clearly on the form and have the date on the rejection letter. Be sure to clarify that your dissatisfaction is not confined to the concerns you identify if you provide information as to why you disagree with the rejection of benefits.
Declare your displeasure with all the decisions made in the refusal letter and the determination of the rating. Notify the VA Regional Office where the denial letter was sent with your Notice of Disagreement. Before mailing it, please make a copy of it and sign it. Ensure you meet the deadline by sending it via certified mail.
Choose the Kind of Appeal You Want to Make.
You will be presented with two options for appealing the decision: one is to a decision review officer (DRO) located in your regional office, and the other is to the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA). Furthermore, you have the option of requesting a personal hearing in front of the DRO, as well as asking the DRO to evaluate your case and make a decision about it.
Even if a DRO rejects your claim, you still have the option to appeal the decision to the BVA. One of the benefits of submitting a request for a DRO review is that it will significantly speed up the decision-making process.
The disadvantage of this option is that if the DRO does not amend the decision, the amount of time that must pass before you can request a BVA review will have increased. On the other side, the review by the DRO provides you with an additional opportunity to have the judgment reversed.
Denial of disability compensation can feel like a personal attack, but it doesn’t have to be. With the help of an experienced lawyer, you can appeal your denial and get the benefits you deserve. Remember, you are not alone in this process.