If your veterans disability benefits have been denied, you may be wondering if an appeal is worth your time and energy. While it’s normal to feel discouraged, a significant number of claims are approved on appeal. Furthermore, your odds of a successful appeal will increase if you hire an experienced veterans benefits lawyer to build your case.
What the Statistics Show
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) keeps records of the number of claims approved or denied each year. Without representation, veterans have a roughly one in four chance of receiving benefits on appeal:
- 2017 - 24.42% of appeals were approved with no representative
- 2018 - 27.22% of appeals were approved with no representative
- 2019 - 26.18% of appeals were approved with no representative
- 2020 - 26.2% of appeals were approved with no representative
If one in four doesn’t seem like great odds, keep in mind that hiring a lawyer improves your chances of a successful appeal tremendously. Approval rates for recent years show that hiring legal representation increases your odds of success by about 15%:
- 2017 - 39.49% of appeals were approved with a lawyer
- 2018 - 44.61% of appeals were approved with a lawyer
- 2019 - 46.31% of appeals were approved with a lawyer
- 2020 - 40.9% of appeals were approved with a lawyer
How a Lawyer Builds a Successful Appeal
VA disability law is complex, but a lawyer will help you navigate your unique situation to build the strongest possible case. Your lawyer can focus on a central argument, gather the appropriate medical evidence, help you obtain buddy statements to document events that weren’t officially recorded, and assist in service-connecting your secondary disabilities. Your lawyer can also help you avoid the common errors veterans make when filing their own claims such as missing key deadlines, submitting irrelevant evidence that slows down the process, or failing to fully document all of their symptoms.
Do You Need to Speak With a Veterans Benefits Lawyer?
If you need to speak with an experienced veterans benefits lawyer, please contact us online, or call our Virginia Beach office to schedule your free consultation. We have offices throughout Virginia, including Chesapeake, Newport News, Norfolk, and Suffolk.