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Should I Appeal My VA Disability Claim Without a Lawyer?

Published on May 12th, 2020

When you decide to take a stand against the denial of your VA disability benefits, you can do so alone or with the assistance of a legal professional. Plenty of veterans who file an appeal without the help of a lawyer manage to get a good result, but the VA’s own statistics from the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (BVA) show that veterans who get the help of a lawyer have a better chance of winning their appeals. If you want to learn more about how a veterans benefits lawyer can help with your disability appeal, call Jackson & MacNichol today at 1(800) 524-3339 for a free consultation.

Veterans Who Appeal With Lawyers Have a Higher Chance of Success

Each year, the BVA publishes a report that summarizes the number of appeals that it has processed. And each year, their statistics show that veterans who appeal their disability denial with the help of a lawyer have a higher chance of winning their appeal than veterans who appeal alone or with the help of a representative who is not a lawyer. Organizations such as the American Legion or DAV help veterans with their appeals, but their representatives are not trained in the law, and as such their rates of success are lower.

According to the most recent available BVA report, which covers the 2018 fiscal year, case outcomes look like this:

Overall, the average success rate for the appeal of a VA disability claim is 35.75%. Therefore, working with a lawyer gives you an above average chance of success while going it alone drops you below the average success rate. In every category, it is more likely than not that the appeal will not be granted. This shows how hard the VA fights against these appeals, and that you should do everything possible to put the odds in your favor.

The VA makes every effort to persuade veterans that they are streamlining the appeals process, and encourages veterans to appeal without a lawyer. But the highest level of success on appeals requires expert legal advice and advocacy for experienced VA lawyers. Some claims involve complex medical issues, or turn on obscure points of law. Appealing without a lawyer puts you at a significant disadvantage. A lawyer can look closely at your case and determine what evidence and what arguments can convince the VA to reverse their decision.

Talk to a Lawyer if You Are Thinking of Filing a NOD Alone

When you get an unfavorable or less than fully favorable decision from the VA, before you fill out a Notice of Disagreement (NOD) and begin the appeals process, you owe it to yourself to speak with an experienced veterans appeals lawyer. When the VA denies your benefits, you and your family are missing out on monthly, tax free payments that could make a big difference to your quality of life. A lawyer can significantly increase your chances of winning your appeal regarding your benefits. For a free consultation about appealing your veterans disability compensation claim, call Jackson & MacNichol today at 1(800) 524-3339 for a free consultation.


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