Veterans Disability Benefits Appeals Process
Many disability claims are denied or are assigned a lower disability rating than a veteran deserves. In February 2019, the VA launched a new appeals system in accordance with the Appeals Modernization Act (AMA), ending the Rapid Appeals Modernization Program and phasing out the Legacy appeals system.
Under the prior system, a veteran had to file a form called a Notice of Disagreement at the Regional Office to appeal a Rating Decision. If the veteran was denied again, a Statement of the Case was issued and an appeal had to be filed at the Board of Veterans’ Appeals. The Legacy Appeals system still applies to many pending appeals and any decision issued before February 19, 2019. You have the option to opt into AMA or stay in the Legacy system. Currently, it’s the VA’s goal to resolve all Legacy appeals and get rid of the system altogether in 2022.
How Does AMA Work for Veteran’s Claims?
There is still a Rating Decision for every initial benefits claim but if a veteran disagrees with the VA’s decision, they have one year to appeal. There are three ways to appeal it:
Higher-Level Review Lane
A higher-level review lane consists of the veteran requesting that a more experienced rating specialist review and issue another decision. For this lane, the veteran cannot submit any additional evidence to support their claim.
The veteran can submit new and relevant evidence to support their disability benefit claim.
Notice of Disagreement Lane
The veteran can appeal their decision directly to the VA Board.
After appealing through one of the three lanes, the VA will offer another decision. Contact Farah & Farah today to determine which lane could benefit your disability benefits appeal.
Let Us Help You Fight the VA
Although the appeals process has changed, one thing remains the same- it’s still overwhelming. Our attorneys know how to navigate the VA’s appeal system to fight for the benefits you deserve. Contact us today for a free case review!