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What Forms Do I Need to Appeal My Veterans Disability Claim?

Published on May 5th, 2020

When you file a veterans disability claim, you may soon find yourself overwhelmed with paperwork. The process could last for years and involve a series of procedures and rulings concerning highly technical issues. When you file that first claim, you can’t predict how things will turn out, so it is in your best interests to get familiar with the disability claims and appeals process.

At Jackson & MacNichol, we help veterans who have been denied their benefits. Our clients come to us because our tenacity and our knowledge of veterans benefits law can give you an advantage in the appeals process, all while reducing your own workload and stress. If you are ready to fight back against the VA, call us today at 1(800) 524-3339 for a free consultation.

There’s a New Process For Claims Filed After February 19, 2019

In an effort to increase efficiency and improve the accuracy of its decisions, the VA recently overhauled the claims and appeals process. If you filed your claim after February 19, 2019, your case may involve the following paperwork:

  • VA Form 21-526EZ – Disability Application — This is your initial claim form, in which you describe and provide evidence for your medical conditions and their connection to your military service. After reviewing your claim, the regional office will send you a ratings decision.
  • VA Form 20-0995 – Supplemental Claim — If you believe a prior rating decision was in error, you can resubmit the claim and send more evidence to support your claim. The regional office staff will review your additional evidence and determine whether to change its ratings decision on this basis. This is one of three options you have for requesting the review of a denial of your claims decision.
  • VA Form 20-0996 – Higher Level Review–The second option you have is to request that your case be reviewed at Higher Level Review. This process is generally be able to catch clerical mistakes and basic legal errors made by the ratings staff. You can request a higher level review after either an initial or supplemental claim. If the reviewer decides that the initial denial still stands, they will issue a Higher level Review denial explaining why.
  • VA Form 10182 – Notice of Disagreement–The third option you have is to take your case directly to the Board of Veterans Appeals, or BVA. You can also select this option after a denial of higher level review or of a supplemental claim. While this is the slower option, it is the only one that ensures that trained legal professionals will review your disability claim decision and is generally the most effective option.

If you filed your claim before February 19, 2019, you have a so-called legacy case. Legacy cases involve the following forms, which are no longer used for decisions after February 19, 2019:

  • VA Form 21-0958 – Notice of Disagreement — Upon receiving your ratings decision, you used to have only one option for starting the appeals process, and that was to file a notice of disagreement, or NOD.
  • VA Form 9 – Formal Appeal Request — If the VA refused to grant your benefits after you filed the notice of disagreement, they would issue a statement of the case. Within 60 days of receiving the SOC, you could start the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA) appeal process by filing a Form 9.

A Veterans Benefits Lawyer Can Give You an Advantage in the Appeals Process

The fight to get your disability benefits can take years. During this time, you want to make sure that you are taking advantage of every opportunity for you to prove your case and get the compensation you deserve. An experienced veterans disability lawyer can ensure that your case is on the right track by asserting your rights and articulating strong arguments in your favor. If you are thinking about appealing your disability claim, call Jackson & MacNichol for a free consultation at 1(800) 524-3339.


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