VA Benefits Appeals Lawyers
Why should I call McKeown Law VA benefits appeals lawyers?
You Have Been Denied VA Benefits
You Have Received a Low-Rating
You Are Missing Backpay
Read the most common questions clients ask our VA benefits appeals lawyers
Do I have to Hire a VA Benefits Appeal Lawyer?
How will McKeown Law VA Benefits Appeals Lawyers Help?
Is it Common to Have to Appeal a Veterans Benefits Decision?
How long do I have to file a VA benefit appeal?
What Does It Cost to Hire a Lawyer?
What Do I Pay if McKeown Law Doesn't Win?
What is the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA)?
How many disabled veterans are being denied?
Average Client Compensation Increase
Total VA Compensation Obtained
VA Disability Claims and Appeals Process
The Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017 restructured the way VA processes veterans disability compensation claims. The modernization was done in an effort to simplify and streamline the old appeals process, while giving veterans, their families, and survivors more choice in handling disagreements with VA decisions.
What began as a collaborative effort involving VA, Veterans Service Organizations, Congressional Staff, and other stakeholders, quickly gained bipartisan support and was signed into law on August 23, 2017 and implemented across the VA disability benefits system on February 19, 2019. All requests for review of VA decisions that were issued on or after that date will be processed in the new system, “AMA.”
NOTE: If you received your VA decision prior to February 19, 2019 your VA disability claim may be processed under the old appeals system, known as the Legacy system.
How Does the VA Disability Claims and Appeals Process Work?
Following an unfavorable rating decision on an initial VA compensation claim, VA’s new disability appeals process allows veterans to choose from three different review options, or lanes, when filing an appeal:
- Higher-Level Review Lane. By choosing this lane, veterans are requesting that the Regional Office (RO) issues another decision based on a higher level of review. This review is conducted by a more experienced rating specialist at the Regional Office who evaluates the veteran’s claim de novo (i.e. new look). The higher-level reviewer has the ability to overturn a previous decision based on a number of factors including a clear and unmistakable error (CUE). In this lane, veterans are not allowed to submit additional evidence in support of their claims. Instead, the RO will issue a new decision based on the same evidence of record that was available at the time of the prior decision.
- Supplemental Claim Lane. This lane allows for the submission of new and relevant evidence. Furthermore, it is the only lane in which VA has a duty to assist veterans in gathering evidence to support their claims. Importantly, veterans will maintain the same effective dates for their claims when submitting new and relevant evidence as long as the supplemental claim is submitted within one year of the RO’s initial decision. Veterans can also submit a claim with new and relevant evidence after receiving an unfavorable decision from the higher-level review process, after receiving a denial from the Board of Veterans’ Appeals, or a denial from the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC). Again, if veterans do so within one year of the decision, their effective date will be preserved.
- Notice of Disagreement Lane (i.e. Appeal to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals). In this lane, veterans can appeal their cases directly to the Board following an initial decision from the RO, or an unfavorable decision in either the higher-level review lane or supplemental claim lane. With this change under AMA, veterans are able to skip the second level of review at the RO that previously existed under the Legacy system. There are an additional three dockets at the Board from which veterans can choose: the direct docket, hearing docket, and evidence docket.
THE THREE DOCKETS
For veterans who do not want to submit additional evidence to the Board, and do not want a hearing before a Veterans Law Judge. In this docket, the Board will only look at the evidence that was in the veteran’s file when the appealed decision was issued. VA has set a 365-day goal for issuing decisions in the direct docket Board lane, which is projected to be the fastest among all three options.
For veterans who want to submit additional evidence, but do not want a hearing. In this lane, veterans can submit additional evidence to the Board with their Notice of Disagreement (NOD) and within the 90 days following their NOD.
For veterans who want to have a hearing before a Veterans Law Judge. The only hearing options available to veterans under appeals reform include a videoconference hearing and a hearing at the Board in Washington, D.C.
Some veterans are receiving over $3,100 a month
If you were denied or rated too low, then appeal successfully, you could receive over $3,100 a month from the Veterans Administration. Veterans with dependent children and parents can receive extra monthly compensation from the Veterans Administration.
Lots of veterans that win their appeals are owed back pay. This is the money you should have been receiving in VA disability benefits. This money will be sent in a lump sum check from the Veterans Administration. Your effective date will determine when you should have started receiving VA disability payments.