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Your VA Disability, Appeal Your Denied Claim

Published on February 27th, 2018

If the Department of Veterans Affairs has denied your claims, you’re likely feeling discouraged. However, the VA may have rejected the disability claim based on a technicality, such as not having enough supporting evidence or not signing. Unfortunately, you do have the right to appeal their decision, meaning you will have to file a Notice of Disagreement (NOD).


Once you’re issued the denial letter, you have one full year to file your NOD. In other words, it has to be filed with the Department of Veterans Affairs office within a year from the date they sent the denial, not the day you receive it.

Forms to Use

While there is no official form to use, the Form 21-4138 is the most popular form choice. If you cannot find this form, you can also write a letter to the office stating that you disagree with their decision to deny benefits.

Information Needed

It can be upsetting when your VA disability claim is denied, but you must appeal their decision. We understand the urge to point fingers and make accusations, but it’s best to avoid this in the NOD. At the top of the form, make sure to note that you disagree with the decision. Other things to include are their ratings decision and the date of your denial letter. You should also mention that you plan to appeal their decision.

You do not have to include that you are hiring legal representation, nor do you have to list particulars about why you disagree.

What Next?

Once you’ve filed the form with the Department of Veterans Affairs, you may choose to hire a lawyer. They will start working immediately to get corroborating evidence, determine why you were denied and make sure you have a strong overall case.

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