BAD VA DECISIONS DO HAPPEN
Dec. 29, 2015
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) does make bad decisions sometimes. If you think they have done so in your case, or if you are a family member helping a loved one who is a veteran, you have appeal rights.
First, you can appeal to the Board of Veterans Appeals. If they uphold the denial, then you can appeal to the U.S. Court for Veterans Claims. The court can adjudicate to establish or deny eligibility to VA benefits. These might include disability service connections, dental treatments, education assistance rates, overpayment waivers, and so on.
However, there are two types of cases that cannot be appealed or adjudicated through the process mentioned above. The first is whether or not a veteran should receive a particular type of medical treatment. The other is to change a benefit, such as decreasing a SC rating.
There are deadlines for appeals. As a claimant, you have one year from the date of the letter denying a benefit. You must submit a Notice of Disagreement or else the decision becomes final. Your notice must be in writing and addressed to the VA operational unit which made the decision. The wording of the notice must be worded so that it appears you disagree with the decision, and you should state your wish for review in the appellate process.
You can request a personal hearing or reconsideration at different points in this process. Contact The Elder & Disability Law Firm serving Loma Linda and surrounding cities for more information. We are proud to work with veterans and their families in regard to Veterans Benefits.