- You should gather all the available evidence, including nexus letters from your doctors, as soon as possible. You should also seek the advice of an attorney who knows the new rules and regulations of the Modernization Act.
- Once you are denied the first time, the new rules say the VA no longer has a duty to assist. You should not delay in getting advice from an attorney immediately if you have been denied.
- Do not think that just because you have been denied that you should not appeal. Most initial applications are denied, even cases where there is presumption of service-connection. The VA also makes mistakes. You are not taking away benefits from another Veteran if you do not appeal. To the contrary, it is always possible Congress may restrict the budget for VA Disability and change the criteria in the future; if it is found fewer Veterans are applying and appealing VA benefit applications.
- Know and understand all of your options for appeal at each stage. It is not true that there is one appeal lane everyone should take.
- Keep in mind the VA can reduce your rating percentage in certain circumstances so be sure to have a qualified attorney review your appeal.
- Do not delay in filing your appeal for any reason. There are often additional pieces of evidence required and legal arguments that need to be made, so it is important to not delay in obtaining all available evidence and then filing your appeal.
- Always follow-up with the VA if you have not received confirmation from the VA on receipt of your appeal within 30 days.
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