Are you dissatisfied with your low veterans disability rating or was your VA disability claim denied? You have several options to pursue with the Department of Veterans Affairs that can result in your disability compensation benefit being approved or increased.
The three main things you can do are:
1.) File a disability claim for a new ailment that is related to your military service.
2.) Request an increase to your existing veterans disability benefits.
3.) Appeal your rating or denial by the VA by filing a “Notice of Disagreement”.
Filing a New Veterans Disability Claim
If you are already receiving compensation for a service related disability, or filed before and were denied, then you will have to file a new disability claim with the VA. Certain conditions or disabilities have time limits, so you have to make sure that you document all factors, as you would with any other VA disability claim.
An example would be if you are currently receiving disability compensation from an injury sustained while in military service, but now you are suffering with symptoms related to Agent Orange or PTSD. Since this is a new ailment, you would need to file a new application for this specific disability.
Requesting an Increase to Your Current Disability Rating
It is very typical for veterans to experience degrading medical conditions over time. For those who are already receiving veterans disability benefits, you have the right, should your medical condition become worse or cause your health to deteriorate further, to request that your rating be increased.
As an example, veterans sometimes experience more pain, new symptoms develop, or the find that an existing disability creates other issues. To file for an increase, you will need medical proof that your condition has deteriorated. The first step is fill out VA Form 21-526b to request an increase. If the medical records you are submitting come from a private doctor, then VA Form 21-4142 needs to be completed and submitted as well.
Please be advised that by requesting an increase in your VA disability rating, you are opening up your claim for re-evaluation. The negative implication is that the VA could lower or even terminate your existing rating. We strongly urge you to seek legal counsel before pursuing this option, as you need to present a strong case before you file and expect to wait several months before the VA makes a decision.
Appealing the VA’s Decision
There are many cases in which veterans either disagree with the VA’s rating decision or are denied benefits due to various reasons that can be rectified with the help of a veterans attorney. An appeal is filed with the VA using what is known as a “Notice of Disagreement”.
Appeals can be filed if the VA rated a disability too low or denied the disability claim outright. The good news is that a veteran can file an appeal regarding any decision made by the VA, whether it is initial or subsequent.
The Injured Veterans legal team is here for military veterans and their families. Please contact us immediately, if you or your family are suffering from service connected medical conditions and you are not receiving the disability benefits to which you are entitled. Call us at 1-888-231-9144 or fill out the pop-up form on this website.