McKeown Law


VA Benefits Appeals Lawyers

If you have been denied VA Benefits you probably found our website because you need help. McKeown Law VA Benefits appeals lawyers have helped thousands of veterans appeal bad VA Benefits decisions. Our law firm is dedicated to helping you obtain the VA Benefits you deserve.
 
Being denied VA Benefits is more common than you think. The Veterans Administration has been in the news quite a bit lately for its wait times, scandals, and cover-ups. The backlog of VA Benefits discourages some veterans from ever trying to get the benefits they need. Don’t give up. Hire a lawyer. Get the legal help you deserve and call McKeown Law!
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Why should I call McKeown Law VA benefits appeals lawyers?

Our VA benefits appeals lawyers help veterans get the monthly compensation they deserve. Here are a few reasons why you should talk to our VA benefits appeals lawyers:

You Have Been Denied VA Benefits

If you have been denied VA benefits, you may be able to appeal that decision. Veterans who are denied VA benefits should not take ‘no’ for an answer. Our VA Disability denial lawyers can help.

You Have Received a Low-Rating

Many veterans are given a rating much lower than what they actually deserve. Don’t just accept the rating the VA gives you. Did you know the difference between a 90 percent and 100 percent VA rating is over $1,200 a month?

You Are Missing Backpay

Lots of veterans are missing VA benefits backpay and don’t even know it. The Veterans Administration is supposed to pay you the money back to your effective date. The problem is, the VA often incorrectly gives effective dates. Veterans can lose out on thousands of dollars.

Read the most common questions clients ask our VA benefits appeals lawyers

If you have questions about VA benefits appeals after reading this page, call us! Ask all the questions you want. There is no obligation to hire our VA benefits appeals lawyers just because you got a VA benefits claim evaluation. We will give you our honest opinion of your VA benefits appeal and talk to you about your legal options. Talking to McKeown Law VA benefits appeals lawyers can be a great resource for disabled veterans.

Do I have to Hire a VA Benefits Appeal Lawyer?

No. The Veterans Administration does not require you to hire a lawyer for your appeal. However, remember that the VA is also the one who denied your claim. We highly suggest you hire a lawyer for your appeal because the entire appeal process is lengthy and very difficult. The Veterans Administration has lots of deadlines, paperwork, and case law that you may not know about.

How will McKeown Law VA Benefits Appeals Lawyers Help?

If you hire our VA benefits appeals lawyers we take over all communication with the Veterans Administration. Our VA benefits appeals lawyers will gather all your medical records and evidence needed to prove your claim. We will craft an individualized case plan and determine what is the best course of action to win your appeal. Our legal team will handle everything for the appeal. Our experienced VA benefits appeals lawyers will submit everything needed for your appeal. Let us take care of everything.

Is it Common to Have to Appeal a Veterans Benefits Decision?

It was probably a shock when you received that denial letter from the Veterans Administration. You served your country honorably and expected it to take care of you if disabilities arose from your time in the service. Unfortunately, the Veterans Administration does not keep it promise to lots of veterans. Everyday, our VA benefits appeals lawyers work with veterans who deserve benefits but were denied. The Military Times reports that in 2011, the denial rate was 76 percent.

How long do I have to file a VA benefit appeal?

If you recently received a denial or low-rating from the Veterans Administration, you may have the option to appeal. You have one year to appeal your initial decision. The one year begins the date the decision was made. If you have let your VA disability appeal period collapse, you can re-apply. That means you will need to submit another initial application and go through the application process again. This is a long route to getting your VA disability benefits, but at least there is still an avenue open.

What Does It Cost to Hire a Lawyer?

McKeown Law VA benefits appeals lawyers only charge if you win your VA claim. Our fee is a percentage of backpay and case expenses (things like doctors reports). We will not touch your future benefits and we will not ask for money upfront.

What Do I Pay if McKeown Law Doesn't Win?

Nothing. If you do not obtain VA benefits on your appeal, you do not owe McKeown Law a penny. Our fair fee agreements are just one of the many reasons clients have trusted us for decades.

What is the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA)?

The Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA) is located in Washington, D.C. Members of the Board review benefit claims determinations made by local VA offices and issue decision on appeals. These Law Judges, attorneys experienced in veterans law and in reviewing benefit claims, are the only ones who can issue Board decisions. We highly suggest you hire a VA benefits appeals lawyer for your BVA appeal.

How many disabled veterans are being denied?

Many veterans will receive VA disability denials on their initial application. According to the VA, “in the past four years alone, VA has added more than 940,000 Veterans to the VA compensation rolls, more than the active duty Army and Navy combined.” Of those veterans, many had to appeal. You are not alone. If you are denied VA disability benefits, make sure you pay close attention to all the Veterans Administrations deadlines and complete all the paperwork. There are thousands of federal regulations that govern VA disability law and many veterans get confused.

Average Client Compensation Increase

$ 1
per month
$ 1
per year
$ 1
every 10 years

Total VA Compensation Obtained

$ 0

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

Direct Docket

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.

Evidence Docket

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.

Hearing Docket

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.

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