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Do I Need a Lawyer to Appeal a Denied Disability Claim?

Published on January 22nd, 2020

There is no requirement that you use a lawyer to appeal the denial of your veterans disability compensation. However, the statistics from the VA show that your chances of succeeding on appeal increase significantly if you go through the process with a lawyer by your side. Your lawyer will advocate on your behalf at the hearings, and ensure that all of your forms are filed, that your paperwork is filed on time, and that your case is supported by the best evidence possible.

Another issue to consider is the convenience of hiring a lawyer to go through these formalities in your place. Do you want to spend the next several months or even years sifting through endless paperwork, filling out forms, and tracking down lost records? Or do you want to retain an experienced veterans benefits lawyer and get the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your case is in good hands? If you need help with the disability claims appeals process, call Jackson and MacNichol today at 1(800) 524-3339 for a free consultation.

VA Data Shows That Disability Claim Appeals Are More Successful With a Lawyer

According to a report from the Bureau of Veteran Appeals (BVA) covering the 2018 fiscal year:

  • 36.27% of appeals were approved–This means that the veteran was allowed to get the compensation they were seeking.
  • 39.18% of the cases were remanded–The BVA sends your claim back to the Regional Office (RO), which must reach a new decision on your case. According to a 2017 report from the Government Accounting Office, 41% of remands were due to a clerical error at the RO.
  • 20.11% of appeals were denied–When this happens the affected veteran must either appeal to the courts, give up, or start all over again.
  • 4.44% of the appeals had an “other” outcome–A significant number of cases didn’t fall into the approved, remanded, or denied categories often because the veteran gave up and withdrew the claims

If you’ve appealed the VA’s decision on your disability claim, then your ideal outcome is an approval. A remand is not quite as good, but it gives you another opportunity for a review of  your case–hopefully without errors this time. The BVA’s statistics show that you stand a better chance of obtaining a good case outcome if you hire a lawyer:

  • 38.49% of appeals approved–But without a lawyer the approval rate was only 24.42%, which is well below average.
  • 41.63% of appeals remanded–Veterans who went through the process on their own experienced a higher rate of having their claims remanded instead of granted– 42.88%.
  • 13.79% of appeals denied–The denial rate for unrepresented veterans was much higher, at 27.05%.

Not only can a lawyer improve your chances of getting your appeal approved, your decision to put your case into the hands of a lawyer will greatly decrease the stress of going through the process. And while your lawyer takes care of your appeal, you can focus on your time with family and your hobbies.

Get Help With Your Disability Compensation Appeal Today

At Jackson and MacNichol, our goal is to get disabled veterans the justice they deserve by fighting for their rights at every step of the process. We will help you build the strongest case possible by highlighting errors in the RO decision process and by collecting convincing evidence of your disability and its connection to your military service. To learn more about how we can help you appeal the denial of your disability claim, call us for free at 1(800) 524-3339.


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