Providing Veterans & Their Families with Aggressive Legal Representation
A denied VA disability claim can be appealed. There are several appeal options. Our attorneys can help you determine the best path.
At West & Dunn, we have been helping our clients win their VA appeals since 2016. Our legal team is respected by our peers and clients alike, and we are dedicated to helping veterans nationwide get the help they need and deserve. No matter what challenge you’re facing or how complex your case is, we are here and ready to fight for you.
If you need help filing a VA disability benefits appeal, contact our firm online today or call (608) 490-9449.
The attorneys at West & Dunn can identify why your claim was denied and develop arguments or gather evidence that can help you win your appeal. Common reasons that the VA denies claims include:
- Lack of Diagnosis. A claim for service connection requires a current diagnosis of the claimed condition. If you suffered a sprained ankle in service, but the ankle healed and there is no current diagnosis of an ankle disability, service connection will not be granted. Providing VA with evidence of a current diagnosis of a claimed condition, or testimony regarding symptoms of a claimed condition is a necessary element of every claim.
- No in-service event or injury. If there is no evidence of an injury or disease during military service, a claim for service connection will be denied.
- No link to service. To be eligible for VA disability benefits, your condition or disability must be related to your military service. A link between your current condition and your military service is a requirement in most claims for service connection. Conditions that VA has determined are presumptively related to some type of in-service exposure (Agent Orange, Radiation, Asbestos, etc.) are an exception to this rule. This link generally comes in the form of a medical opinion. If there is evidence of a current condition and evidence of an in-service event or injury, VA must provide a medical examination and opinion. A veteran may also obtain a medical opinion linking their current condition to their military service.
- Poor medical opinion or exam. Unfortunately, the medical opinions and examinations VA provides are often of very low quality. The examiner will frequently fail to review the veteran’s record and will disregard the veteran’s competent lay testimony. The result is often a medical opinion finding no relationship between the veteran’s military service and the current medical condition. When veterans obtain a medical opinion from a non-VA doctor, that opinion often does not include the specific language VA requires, resulting in rejection of the opinion.
Even if your claim is granted, VA often provides an evaluation that does not adequately compensate for the severity of the condition. Each service-connected condition will be assigned a diagnostic code from VA’s Schedule for Rating Disabilities (VASRD).
Each diagnostic code provides a list of symptoms that are associated with levels of disability. An evaluation between 0% and 100% (in 10 percent increments) is assigned for each disability. If you believe that the evaluation assigned for your condition is too low, that evaluation can be appealed.
What Options Are Available for an Appeal?
If you think the VA made an incorrect decision, you have the right to appeal it. Whether you want to appeal a denial or the assigned disability rating, you can begin the appeals process by filing a form with your VA Regional Office (VRO). You can appeal a decision by:
- Requesting a higher-level review of your previous claim and evidence (by another claim reviewer)
- Filing a supplemental claim with new evidence for the VRO to consider
- Appealing to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals
Get Help Appealing a VA Decision Today
At West & Dunn, our attorneys are here to help you appeal VA decisions you feel are incorrect. While claims and appeals can be complex and confusing, we have the experience necessary to determine the cause of denial and find the best path to service connection. Our firm is known for providing high-quality, aggressive legal representation to our clients, and we are dedicated to helping veterans obtain the benefits they deserve.
Need help with a VA disability appeal? The attorneys at West & Dunn are here to help you. Contact us online or call (608) 490-9449 today to request a free case review.
I am grateful they took my case and I highly recommend them.- Andrew L.
An outstanding representative for all veterans.- Dr. R.
This firm is very knowledgeable in VA Laws and Regulations, understanding that every case is unique to the individual.- Ray Reid
The professional skills and commitment Attorney Dunn has consistently shown in each of my appeals is confirmed by her success.- Tedd Welch, Vietnam Veteran
They were extremely responsive, professional and honest.- Michael B.