If you have just received notification that your VA disability claim has been denied, you are likely anxious about the appeals process. You know you need and deserve disability benefits for your service-related condition. You also know that those benefits can be paid retroactively to the time you filed your claim, and even before then in many cases.
As you might expect, with the VA being a government agency, your appeal will not move toward a decision with the speed you would like. But you are not powerless: there are steps you can take to help your appeal reach a positive resolution more quickly.
How Long Do VA Disability Appeals Take to Resolve?
There are a number of factors that can influence the length of time it takes for your appeal to reach a decision, including whether your appeal is under the new system or the legacy system. If your appeal was filed before February 2019, then it is progressing through the linear “legacy” system. The VA’s website states that under this system, requesting a hearing before a veterans law judge can result in a five- to seven-year wait before you receive a decision.
Under the new system, filing an appeal to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals, the Board’s goal is to resolve the appeal within 365 days (one year) to 730 days (two years). If you are simply asking the Board to review the decision of the veterans service representative without submitting new evidence, the process will take a shorter amount of time than if you submit new evidence or request a hearing before a veterans law judge.
Speeding Your Appeal Along Without Sacrificing Your Rights
If you are still waiting for your appeal to be decided, or if you are preparing to file an appeal but want to make the process go as smoothly as possible, there are a few things you can do:
Timely File Your Appeal
Although you have some time once receiving your denial to consider your options, recognize that the sooner you take action, the sooner your appeal can be docketed. Remember the Board of Veterans’ Appeals normally decides appeals in the order they are docketed.
Consider Whether an In-Person Hearing is Really Necessary
Although you may want the opportunity to plead your case before a veterans law judge in person, it may not always make the most sense to do so. If there is no strategic benefit, opt for some other sort of resolution. In-person hearings take the longest to schedule and hence will result in your appeal taking longer to decide.
Get an Attorney’s Help Sooner Rather than Later
There is a tremendous benefit to having an attorney represent you in your appeal. The appeals process has several procedural steps, and your attorney will be familiar with these steps and how to complete them, saving you the time of having to learn them yourself.
If you need assistance with your VA disability appeal in Ohio, call Veterans Law Attorneys today by dialing (866) 894-9773. You can also contact us through our website.