The disability compensation program administered by the Veterans Benefits Administration provides monthly benefits in recognition of disabilities, diseases or injuries that occurred or were aggravated by active duty. There are a number of disability benefits available to veterans.
The conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have greatly increased the amount of veterans filing disability claims. As the number of claims has increased, so have the wrongful denials and the backlog of claims requests.
When a Veteran files a claim for disability compensation and other veterans benefits, and is denied those benefits by the VA, the Veteran’s typically files a Notice of Disagreement or NOD.
You should file for a Decision Review Officer Hearing when filing your Notice of Disagreement. The purpose of the NOD is for a Veteran tell the VA that they disagrees with the Ratings Decision on the Veteran’s claim for disability benefits or other compensation. The Notice of Disagreement must be in terms which can be reasonably construed as disagreement with that determination and a desire for appellate review.
There is no official NOD form. Generally, the NOD can be a written statement on VA Form 21-4138, the Statement in Support of Claim.
Three specific pieces of information need to be in a Notice of Disagreement. They are:
- You need to let the VA know that you disagree with the decision of the VA Regional Office.
- You need to state that you intends to appeal the decision.
- The date of the decision that you disagree with.
Also, if you can specifically identify what part or parts of the Ratings Decision you disagree with and why you disagree, that will certainly help. A well written NOD can affect the outcome of the Decision Review Officer Conference.
You have one year from the date of the VA’s notice of its decision to file your NOD with the VA regional office. If you miss this deadline, you can only reopen your claim based on new and material evidence or establishing that the VA denial was the product of clear and unmistakable error, which is very difficult to prove.
Once the DRO has made a decision or has received your request for BVA consideration, the VA will issue a Statement of the Case. This document will explain the VA’s decision in detail.
If you have questions with your Veterans Beneffits please contact us, and let us help you.