VA Regional Offices decide initial VA Benefits claims, and adjudicate Notices of Disagreement filed by claimants that disagree with an aspect of a rating decision. Although your claim will be assigned to the VA Regional Office closest to your home address for processing, any VA Regional Office may decide your case. Although an original claim can be decided relatively quickly, a VA Regional Office may need more than a year to process a Notice of Disagreement.
Many Organizations are Available to Help Veterans and Their Families File Claims at the VA Regional Office
The first step of the VA benefits process is to file a “Notice of Intent” to file a claim. This is a very simple process that can be done at anytime. You have one year from the date of filing your Notice of Intent to gather the evidence you need and to file your claim. Original claims are filed using a VA Form 21-526EZ. The vast majority of Veterans and family members do not need the assistance of an attorney to file their claims.
There are many Veteran Service Organizations (VSOs) available to assist Veterans and family members with filing original claims at VA Regional Offices. These organizations train and supervise non-attorneys that help with preparing the required forms and developing the required evidence to get your claim granted. These organizations can also help you review your rating decision, decide whether you have grounds for appeal, and help you continue your appeal to the Board of Veterans Appeals.
Veteran Esquire Legal Solutions Can Help File An Appeal at Your VA Regional Office
If you disagree with an aspect of your rating decision, you should file a Notice of Disagreement. You can file a Notice of Disagreement for any error that you identify in your rating decision. Many common errors include the denial of service connection for a diagnosed condition, the assignment of an incorrect effective date, or rating a service connected condition too low.
Although VSOs are available to assist with filing a Notice of Disagreement at the VA Regional Office, it may be advantageous to hire a Veterans Law Attorney to appeal your case. In complex cases that require significant evidentiary development or legal argument, a Veterans Law attorney can help make it as easy as possible for the VA Regional Office to grant your claim. A Veterans Law attorney can help you identify the specific issues of contention and to obtain the evidence you need for VA to grant your claim.
If you need assistance filing a Notice of Disagreement at your local VA Regional Office, Veteran Esquire Legal Solutions, PLLC, may be able to represent you. We offer free consultations to all Veterans and their family members, and will provide you with guidance as to the most cost-effective option for your case. If we do not think you need an attorney, we will refer you to an organization that can help. Please contact a veterans law attorney for a free consultation today.