Even though you may conceptually know that the VA can deny your claim for disability benefits for a variety of reasons, you may still not understand how the VA will communicate that denial to you. If you are not sure what you should be looking for after submitting a claim for disability benefits, you may miss key deadlines and irreparably harm your rights.
The VA Will Not Contact You by Telephone or E-mail
Before discussing what you can expect to happen, you should know what will not happen. Specifically, the VA will not call you on the telephone to inform you that your claim has been approved or denied. Be immediately suspicious if anyone calls you claiming to be from the VA and requesting personal information
Similarly, the VA will not inform you of your claim’s approval or denial by e-mail. If you receive an e-mail purporting to be from the VA with an attachment about your claim’s status, do not click on the attachment. Delete the e-mail and, if needed, check the status of your claim by calling the VA directly.
Note, though, that you can log in to VA.gov and check the status of your claim electronically. If you are approved for benefits, you can also download your award letter.
What You Receive and What to Do with It
Once you have filed a claim, the VA will take approximately four months, or a little less than 120 days, to issue a decision. Regardless of whether you checked your claim status online, you will receive a paper copy decision letter in the mail to the last address you have on file with the VA.
If your claim is approved, your decision letter will so indicate. It will also indicate your disability rating, the effective date of your benefits, and the benefit you will be receiving. Review this information carefully, and be certain that it matches what you and your attorney believe to be accurate. If any part of your approval appears incorrect, you have a small window of time within which to raise the issue.
When you receive a denial, first take note of the date at the top of the letter. This will tell you when your time period of appealing the denial begins to run (one year). Also, pay attention to the reasons given by the VA as to why your claim was denied. Not only should you identify the issues or exceptions you are taking in particular with these reasons, but they can also let you know what evidence the VA considered. Knowing this can help you decide what appeals route makes the most sense for your situation.
Contact an Experienced Veteran’s Law Attorney Today
If you received a denial of your VA disability claim, or if you received approval but something does not seem right, do not sit on it. Take action today. Call Veterans Law Attorneys today at (866) 894-9773 and request a consultation with us. We will review your case and advise you of the steps necessary to obtain the benefits to which you are lawfully entitled.