The first step to getting benefits is to file an application with the VA. If you have not filed a claim yet, you do not need an attorney.
The easiest way to file is online through eBenefits: https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits/homepage. If you do not have access, your local VA Regional Office can assist in creating a username and password. Or, you can file by mail, fax, or by visiting your local Veteran Service Officer (VSO).
Currently, the VA takes about 3-4 months to make a decision on your first application. Sometimes, but not always, the VA will schedule a Compensation and Pension exam (C&P exam). At the exam, the medical provider will determine the extent of your disability and determine whether it is related to service.
If you have been through a C&P exam and the VA denied your claim, you may need an attorney. The VA will likely require another medical opinion before it is willing to change their decision. We can help with that process!
If you have not been scheduled for a C&P exam, but the VA denied your claim, the next step is to apply for higher-level review. Here is the proper form: https://www.vba.va.gov/pubs/forms/VBA-20-0996-ARE.pdf. If you believe you have more evidence to submit, then a Supplemental Claim is a better option. Here is the proper form: https://www.vba.va.gov/pubs/forms/VBA-20-0995-ARE.pdf.
If you are feeling overwhelmed at this point, you would definitely benefit from an attorney. We take care of all the paperwork and strategy of your case.
If you already attempted a Higher Level Review appeal or Supplemental claim and were still denied, you definitely need an attorney on your case. We can review the evidence you submitted and pinpoint the exact evidence you will need to win. Additionally, we can make a decision as to whether your case needs to be appealed to a higher level.
If your case is at the Board of Veteran Appeals, or the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, then an attorney is essential! Tiffanie Graham is an accredited attorney before the Board of Veteran Appeals and a practicing attorney before the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.
- File Application with the VA.
- Wait for C&P exam to be scheduled (if applicable).
- Wait for decision on your initial claim or claims.
- Gather additional evidence or file an appeal.
- Simplify the whole ordeal and give us a call!