The Appeals Modernization Act (AMA), which was signed into law in 2017 but became effective in 2019, gave veterans three methods by which they could appeal a denial of their VA disability claim. Under the AMA, veterans could choose:
- To supplement their case with new information and ask that the claim be reevaluated
- To ask a higher-level reviewer to look at the claim and reconsider the VA’s decision
- To request the Board of Veterans’ Appeals to look at the claim, potentially in light of new evidence
What is more, under the AMA veterans can choose several of these options, just not at the same time.
What is the Success Rate of VA Disability Appeals?
But just because you can appeal your VA disability claim denial using one particular method does not mean that method is the best avenue for you to pursue. A fruitless appeal path means more delays in having your claim approved and the commencement of benefits. You want to select the path that is most likely to result in a swift approval.
Supplemental Claim Approval Rate
It is not clear how successful supplemental claims are for veterans. This appeal would be appropriate, however, if you identify new and relevant evidence about your disability that the VA did not previously consider. The main advantage to this method of appeal is the speed with which a decision is returned.
Higher-Level Review Approval Rate
Higher-level reviews are where your claim is reviewed by a more senior reviewer checks the work of the initial reviewer who denied your claim. While the higher-level reviewer can overturn the initial denial, VA data suggests that this happens only in about one out of every ten cases.
Board of Veterans’ Appeals Approval Rate
Last, you can appeal your denial to the Board of Veterans’ appeals. You can have the Board review your file as it is, submit new evidence for the Board to consider, or request a hearing before an administrative law judge.
The Board approval rate depends on which of the options you elect. If you ask the Board to simply review what the VA reviewers looked at, your approval rate is approximately 28.7 percent. If you ask for a hearing and attend that hearing, though, your approval rate jumps to 40.9 percent.
What Path Makes the Most Sense for Me?
Consider that while your approval odds re the greatest with a Board appeal, a Board appeal will take the longest amount of time to resolve.
Veterans Law Attorneys are here to guide you through the VA disability appeals process and help you make an informed choice of how to appeal a VA disability claim denial. We will discuss with you the risks and rewards of the various appeal options and help you make a decision that is swift and cost-effective.
Contact us today to discuss your situation by dialing (866) 894-9773. You can also visit us online.