As a veteran, you deserve everyone's respect and support. You went through trials and tribulations so that others could live comfortable lives. If you suffered an injury while on tour or as a result of your time in the military, then you deserve the benefits that were promised to you.
If you file for VA disability benefits and have your application denied, it can be extremely frustrating. Fortunately, you do have a right to an appeal. The bad part about appeals is that they can take a long time. That's why it's so important to work with your attorney and make sure you submit everything accurately.
How long does it take the Veterans Benefits Administration to review a new appeal and make a decision?
New appeals usually take between one year and 18 months to be reviewed. The VA then decides if the appeal will be granted. Sometimes, only a partial appeal is granted. If you're appealing to a Veterans Law Judge at the Board of Veterans', then the appeal can take up to seven years, with most taking between five and seven years.
For someone struggling to make ends meet or needing care, having to wait so long for an appeal is a true hardship. Your goal should be to have your application approved when it's submitted the first time.
How can you give yourself the best chance of your application or appeal being approved?
It's a reality that many applications are denied the first time, because they aren't completed fully or don't have enough evidence. The best thing you can do is work with your attorney from the moment you know that you want to apply for VA disability benefits. That way, your attorney can help you make as thorough an application as possible, giving you the best chance of success with your first application.
If that application is denied, then making sure to meet the requirements the VA asks for is essential to winning your appeal within the first 18 months. If that appeal is denied, then you will face the five-to-seven-year wait while you request a review from the Veterans Law Judge, who may or may not agree with your application after all that time.
Your attorney will give you a fighting chance of having your application or appeal approved. Make sure you provide as much evidence as you can of your disability or injury to the VA.