Let’s take a look at a VA disability sample appeal. After six months of patiently waiting, you are excited to know the outcome of your disability claims. You’re currently at 70% and filed in for sleep apnea. When you receive the letter, you are shocked by the denial of your VA your claim. You’re confused because you had someone walk you through the process, I thought you provided ample documentation. you’re confused and angry.
What to do now? First thing on your mind, you have to backtrack what was said and done. If you worked with a VSO, you would ask them precisely what caused the denial. Remember, just because you submitted a claim with ample documentation doesn’t guarantee a success rate. Read that sentence again.
Many veterans face denials, and it’s perfectly normal. Did you know that 80% of veterans are underrated? Why do you think veterans are frustrated with claims denial? There is more to just submitting documentation online. Here is the thing– it is all about how you present the information. In all cases, every veteran will have a different situation there for having an unusual circumstance.
Once you have contacted your VSO or the person that helps you write your claim, it is time to start drafting your VA appeal letter. The VA appeal letter will need to be clear, concise, and provide specific information to the VA. Writing the VA appeal letter is very crucial, especially when appealing to the situation.
How To Start Your VA Appeal
To get started on your appeal, you will need to file a notice of Disagreement and Odie with the Department of Veterans of Affairs. The deadline we’re presenting a claims appeal is precisely one year from the date of the decision was sent to you, not the day you received the notice.
You will need to use VA form 21 – 0958. By using this form, you can appeal the denial of your disability claim. Don’t attempt to contact the VA and via phone or email. He will refer you to the form, which is the only way to appeal your denial claim.
Within the Notice of Disagreement, you will explain in detail what disability compensation was denied. Some information that is on the NOD will be service connection percentage of disability and effective date a few things that will be explained.
To get assistance on your NOD, you can contact the VA help you fill out or your vehicle, so that helped you out. Remember to have all the information before contacting the VA. not having all the information beforehand will delay the process will further your claims process. Here’s the link for the NOD.
Your appeal letter will start with your name and date. You will then provide the disability you are appealing. Ensure you get with your VSO and refer to the denial letter the VA sent to you.
Sample VA Appeal Letter
When writing your appeal letter, you must be straight to the point and do your best not to deviate. The intent is to keep it simple yet provide enough details for the VA to make a sound decision. It may sound counter-intuitive to keep it half a page, but it will do more good than harm. Why?
The NOD is where the information will be explained. The letter is to pinpoint any errors and not tell the VA why you disagree with their decision. Again, the NOD will state the factual information for them to decide.
On the very top of the page, you want to put your name, address, phone number, and email. The information below will serve as a “letterhead” and also be presentable. See below for format:
123 Main St, 12345
You will address the person that you are writing starting with “Dear (name),” and will start another paragraph stating that you are writing the appeal letter from the VA’s decision. The first paragraph will briefly talk about your history and what caused your disability. Ensure you match what is in your medical records. It would be a great idea to have your medical records readily available to reference them.
The following is an example of how to write to the VA:
Dear (name–should be your VSO or representative you’re working with),
I am writing to you regarding the VA’s decision on my recent disability request. In 2013, I did four tours in Iraq and was severely wounded. A year later, my command decided to send me home. I was a survivor of three out of eight soldiers during a mortar attack. I saw eight of my comrades instantly die in front of me. Fortunately, I was in another building 30 feet away after the mortar attack occurred. I got shrapnel and lost some of my hearing.
After my command sent me home, I have struggled mentally and physically. It has been difficult for me to live a healthy life and transition into the civilian world. I just lost my job of six months at a local payroll company. I experience flashbacks even when I sleep for only 30 minutes. Any loud noise I experience, I tend to be very paranoid and want to look over my shoulder continually. I want to get better. I know that I am experiencing PTSD, and it’s significantly affecting me. My friends and family know that I’ve changed.
My goal is to get a job to pay the bills. I ask the VA to review my medical records and reconsider their original decision.
The letter shown above is to provide you the content rather than the format. Keep in mind your intentions to be brief and show that the disability is affecting your current situation. There is no right format, but it is best to make it simple to read. I highly recommend typing the letter versus writing. By typing the message, the VA will see that you are taking the decision seriously, and you are professional. After all, how you present your appeal may or may not play a role in the decision.
This letter format is straight to the point, and you do not have to use it. As always, it’s great to have a form to follow to make it easier for you.
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About the Author
VA Claims insider is an education-based coaching/consulting company. We’re here for disabled veterans exploring eligibility for increased VA disability benefits and who wish to learn more about that process. We also connect veterans with independent medical professionals in our referral network for medical examinations, disability evaluations, and credible Independent Medical Opinions & Nexus Statements (Medical Nexus Letters) for a wide range of disability conditions.