24 May VA System Failed You? A Veterans’ Benefits Attorney Can Help
At of the end of the fiscal year, 2015, more than 425,000 veterans’ disability claims appeals swamped the already backlogged VA appeals system, according to Board of Veterans’ Appeals Operating Statistics. A disability claim becomes an appeal when the veteran disagrees with the VA’s original decision regarding their level of injury and/or compensation for that injury. The number of appeals has more than doubled in the past decade, partially due to understaffing, partially due to a mad rush by VA hospitals to whittle down the delay times in processing claims, and partially due to new and ever-changing rules regarding filing and appealing claims.
Every veteran has the right to an appeal, but what comes of that appeal and when is ultimately up to the VA Regional Office (VARO) and the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (BVA). Cases that cannot be resolved by the VARO go to the BVA. As it is, however, the BVA – which is made up of just 65 judges – is so backlogged that more often than not, they neither deny nor grant a claim, and just send it back to the regional offices for further review. This back-and-forth can go on for years, or even decades, in which time tens of thousands of disabled veterans go unemployed or, in the worst-case scenarios, pass away. According to a report by LA Times, more than 32,000 veterans have died with an unresolved appeal since 2009 alone.
Because of all the complex and convoluted rules and regulations surrounding veterans’ benefits claims, Veterans who pursue their appeals without representation are at a severe disadvantage. If you want to appeal your disability claim decision, or if you’ve been trying to no avail, hiring a veterans’ benefits attorney may be in your best interest.
Improve Your Success Rates With The VARO and BVA
According to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals Chairman’s Annual Report, veterans without attorney representation were 20 percent more likely to have their claims denied. Veterans with attorney representation were 15.7 percent more likely to have their claims approved. Veterans’ benefits attorneys boast the second highest success rate against the appeals board, at 39.1 percent; veterans represented by AMVETS – a volunteer organization led by WWII vets – have a slightly higher success rate, at 39.6 percent. However, AMVETS was only responsible for 63 successful appeals, while attorneys were responsible for 2,902.
What A Veterans’ Benefits Attorney Can Do For You
The law in and of itself is a complex system full of intricate policies, parameters, and loopholes that a majority of the population remains blissfully ignorant of. Combine those with the policies that regulate the VA, and many veterans feel in over their heads at the initial claims filing process. However, veterans with an attorney on their side find the appeals process to be a lot less complicated, as they receive the following benefits:
- Assistance in isolating errors made by the VA staff in evaluating their applications.
- Answers to claim-related questions, as well as assistance in understanding and obtaining the evidence needed to support their claims.
- Help to analyze their entire VA claim history, and putting together the most efficient plan to receive all of the benefits they deserve.
- Assistance in providing sworn testimony when facing the BVA.
Helping Veterans Receive The Benefits They Deserve
Our Mount Pleasant disability law firm is dedicated to providing veterans with the representation they need to receive the benefits and compensation they deserve. Countless veterans apply for benefits every day, and it can be easy for your own claim to get lost in the system, or filed away for a VA official to “get to at a later date.” Most veterans cannot wait until a later date though, and no veteran should have to. At Klok Law Firm LLC, our disability attorneys work with veterans and their families to assert their rights and achieve a favorable outcome. If you or a loved one served in the military, was disabled as a result, and was wrongfully denied disability benefits, contact our SC law office for a free or private consultation today.