What happens when the decision made by the VA Board in your VA disability benefits claim doesn’t turn out the way you hoped? The Board may have ruled that you aren’t qualified to receive benefits because your disability wasn’t service-related, or you may feel that the rating you received doesn’t accurately reflect the severity of your disability.
Whatever the reason, the law gives disabled vets the right to appeal the VA Board’s decision. But Veterans whose benefits have been denied often want to know how likely it is that the benefits will be approved or increased on appeal. What is the VA disability appeal success rate?
Options for Filing an Appeal
You have three options when it comes to filing your appeal. First you would file either a:
- Supplemental Claim, which allows you to add new and relevant evidence to support your claim;
- or a Board Appeal, in which you ask a senior VA reviewer to review your case (with no new evidence).
If you disagree with the decision made in your Supplemental Claim or your Board Appeal, you can appeal to a Veterans Law Judge at the Board of Veterans’ Appeals.
The smart thing to do would be to hire an experienced VA disability benefits attorney to help you through the appeals process. They’re familiar with VA rules and regulations, can insure you submit all the information the VA will need to make their decision, and will be able to represent you at a Board Hearing. Keep reading to see why it’s a good idea to hire an attorney to represent you.
Is it Worth Appealing the VA’s Decision?
Is it worth the time and the trouble of filing an appeal? It’s easy to get discouraged, but don’t. Let’s take a look at the VA disability appeal success rates for 2020, so you can decide for yourself.
According to the latest data, the VA made 85,451 Board Legacy Decisions and 17,202 Board AMA decisions in 2020.
Of the Board Legacy Decisions:
- 33.8% claims were allowed
- 40.6% percent of them were remanded (sent back for reconsideration)
- 20.3% were denied
Of the cases decided by a Board AMA:
- 37% were allowed
- 28.2% were remanded
- 27.6% were denied
One of the biggest keys to success was who the disabled veteran chose to represent them. A breakdown of the data appearing on a table entitled “The Board of Veterans’ Appeals Board Legacy Disposition” reveals some interesting information.
Veterans represented by attorneys saw the best results:
- 40.9% of their cases allowed
- 38.5% remanded
- Only 14.8% denied
The Military Order of Purple Heart, the Paralyzed Veterans of American and the Wounded Warrior Project all provided effective representation according to the numbers.
The lowest VA disability appeal success rate was among those veterans who chose not to have any representation:
- Only 26.2% allowed
- 29.2% denied
The VA Disability Appeal Success Rate Is Better With Attorney Help
As you can see from the numbers, disabled veterans who are represented by attorneys have the highest success rates when it comes to appealing a VA Board decision. If you’re a disabled veteran who’s considering whether or not to appeal the VA’s decision in your disability benefits claim, we urge you to give Marc Whitehead & Associates a call.
Marc Whitehead & Associates is a Houston-based law firm dedicated to helping veterans all over the nation from all branches of the military get the disability benefits they’ve deserved. Attorney Marc Whitehead is admitted to practice before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims and has successfully represented clients at all stages of the VA disability benefits appeal process.
Marc Whitehead & Associates are here to ensure you get a fair hearing. Call us at (800) 562-9830 or contact us online to speak with an experienced VA disability benefits attorney about your case.