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How Do I File A Veteran’s Disability Claim? 

Are you a disabled veteran? Filing a claim with the VA can be a difficult and tedious chore. Depending on the case, the claim process can take a few months to years. Hiring an attorney to handle the claim and review process for you is one way to make the process easier. If you need assistance with your claim, contact our Illinois veteran’s disability lawyer at Harold W. Conick & Associates.

Filing A VA Claim Is Difficult

Many disabled veterans are unaware that when they file for VA disability benefits, the agency leaves much of it up to them. For example, if you want compensation from the VA for your service-related disability, you must provide many service and medical records in the claim. Or, you must instruct the VA where to find them.

Unfortunately, the VA denies many vets’ claims because they lack sufficient information. It is common for veterans to state they are disabled because of a back injury, but they do not know the agency must have a specific medical diagnosis. You also must provide service and medical records showing the injury and how and when it happened. Most veterans do not have access to all of this information.

The good news is an Illinois veteran’s disability attorney knows what the VA wants to approve a claim. Your lawyer also knows how and where to get the necessary evidence to prove you are eligible.

What If The VA Denies Your Claim?

Many VA disability claims are initially denied, but you can ask for the decision to be reviewed. When you ask for a review, you can select from three options. Your attorney can help you decide which is best:

Supplemental Claim

A supplemental claim is for the vet with more evidence for service-related medical issues. The reviewer will review the evidence and decide if there should be a different decision. If you have new evidence, completing a supplemental claim takes four or five months.

Higher-Level Review

Higher-level review is for the veteran who disagrees with the decision but lacks more evidence to provide. A senior reviewer will review the claim and determine if the initial decision was wrong, perhaps because of a mistake or difference of opinion from the first reviewer.

You will communicate with the senior reviewer by phone and discuss why you think you should get disability. This process also will take four or five months to complete.

Board Appeal

You can request a board appeal if you have taken one or both steps above and still are denied. This process brings the claim to a Veterans Law Judge, and there are three options:

  • Ask for a direct review without providing more evidence.
  • Submit additional evidence within 90 days that support your claim.
  • Ask for a hearing with the judge in-person or by video.

A VA disability attorney can assist by representing you during the decision review process. They also can try to obtain a higher disability rating for you.

Contact Our Illinois Veteran’s Disability Lawyer Today

Taking on the VA on your own is not a good idea. You have a higher chance of getting your disability application approved with an attorney’s assistance. Contact our Illinois veteran’s disability lawyer at Harold W. Conick & Associates. Our attorneys serve the greater Chicago metropolitan area, including Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin.