All too often, waiting for a VA disability decision means waiting for a notice of denial. While it is true that many veterans will be denied benefits on their first try, there are several levels of appeal that give them the opportunity to fight for their benefits—and each appeal may hinge on what you are doing in the meantime.
While you are waiting to hear back from the VA about your disability, you should:
- Keep your doctor’s appointments. While you are waiting for a benefit decision or appealing a denial, everything you do can affect your case. For this reason, you should continue to take your prescribed treatments and see your doctors as usual. This includes checkups, physical rehabilitation, counseling sessions, or anything that can be linked to your disability. If you cancel your appointments, the VA may assume that your condition has improved and you are able to work. Any gaps in your treatment will look suspicious or may have to be explained, so you should be doing your utmost to follow your doctor’s orders.
- Apply for other benefits. There are many state and federal benefits that veterans may qualify for in addition to VA disability. The Social Security Administration offers both disability benefits for injured workers (Social Security Disability Insurance) and monthly payments for based on financial need (Supplemental Security Income). The VA helps also offers veterans pension payments for families who are struggling with extreme financial problems.
- Stay on course. If your rejection letter does come, appeal the decision as soon as possible. Most of the months it takes for veterans to get a favorable decision is spent waiting on the VA, and that wait doesn’t start until you have requested an appeal. Although you have up to 12 months to file your appeal, you should do so within a few weeks of the denial.
How Can an Attorney Help With My VA Disability Appeal?
A qualified VA disability attorney will argue your case at every level, and will not charge you to take your case until you finally receive your benefits. At Cuddigan Law, we do not charge any upfront fees when representing veterans, and can tell you what to expect in your first visit. Call us today to find out how we can help, or read through a free copy of our book, The Essential Guide to VA Disability Claims.