It is not unusual for a veteran that has had his or her claim for disability benefits denied to wonder what they should do next; should they reopen a new claim or appeal. With the inordinate amount of time it takes to go through the appeals process it is easy to see why some claimants who have not spoken to a VA disability claim attorney may think reopening the claim is the better choice.
There are a couple of very important points to bear in mind:
- If you opt to reopen a claim rather than appealing the denial of benefits and you eventually are approved, chances are the award will only go back to the date when you reopened the claim, if you appeal the award will date back to the initial date of the claim; there could be a significant difference in the amount of the award.
- To reopen a claim you must be in a position to provide new and material evidence that was not included in the original claim. If you have nothing new to add, your option is limited to an appeal.
It can be difficult to decide what the best course of action is; this is why it is best to discuss the options with a seasoned VA disability claim attorney.
A year to appeal:
Once the VA has denied your claim for veterans disability benefits you have a full year to decide your best course of action. Looking at it from the DVA’s point of view there are three types of claims that they consider:
- A brand new claim
- A claim for revision based on a clear and unmistakable error on their part, and
- A reopened claim supported by new evidence
Each case is unique even though there is no evidence that reopening your case will result in an improved chance for approval. Consider taking advantage of a free consultation with a VA disability claim attorney.
If you have been denied benefits and you are confused as to what you should do next take advantage of a free consultation offered by a VA disability claim attorney. You are welcome to contact Jackson & MacNichol, Attorneys at Law.