female military vet filling out paperwork

Securing the VA disability benefits you’ve earned through your service can be vital for managing the challenges of service-connected conditions. Unfortunately, many veterans encounter denials during the application process. Understanding the common reasons for these denials is the first step in successfully appealing the decision and getting the compensation you deserve.

Why Do VA Disability Claims Get Denied?

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has a responsibility to ensure benefits are distributed fairly and accurately. Denials often occur when there isn’t a clear connection between a veteran’s current disability and their military service. This can be due to insufficient evidence, a lack of understanding of VA guidelines, or simple errors in the application process. Here’s a closer look at some of the most common reasons VA disability claims get denied:

Military vet filling out medical paperwork
  1. Missing the Evidence Link—The VA needs clear proof that your current medical condition is directly connected to an event, injury, or illness that occurred during your time in service. Thorough medical documentation and potentially even “buddy statements” from fellow service members are crucial.
  2. Incomplete Application—The VA application process is detailed, and errors or omissions can significantly delay or derail your claim.  It’s crucial to complete forms thoroughly and accurately.
  3. Missed Deadlines—Missing deadlines for appeals hurts your chances of success. The VA operates with strict timeframes, so submitting your appeal promptly is essential.
  4. Insufficient Evidence of Disability Severity—The VA has specific guidelines for rating the severity of disabilities. Your medical records must substantiate that your condition significantly limits your ability to work or function on a daily basis.
  5. Pre-Existing Conditions—While pre-existing conditions can be eligible for VA disability if they were worsened by your military service, you’ll need substantial evidence to demonstrate this aggravation.
  6. Dishonorable Discharge—Generally, a dishonorable discharge disqualifies you from receiving VA disability benefits. There are exceptions in very limited circumstances.

While these are some of the most common reasons VA claims get denied, it’s important to remember that each situation is unique. The key takeaway is that many denials can be overcome with the right approach. By ensuring your application is complete and submitted on time, gathering strong medical evidence that connects your disability to your service, and potentially seeking the guidance of an experienced VA attorney, you can significantly increase your chances of a successful claim.

Read More: Do VA Benefits Stop Once You Reach Full Retirement?

Are VA Benefits Denials Common?

Unfortunately, yes.  The VA application process can be complex, and denials are fairly frequent. Around 30% of initial VA disability claims are denied each year. This statistic highlights the importance of understanding the reasons for denial and taking steps to strengthen your application from the outset.

Overcoming a Denial: The Appeals Process

While a high initial denial rate might seem daunting, it’s important to remember that this doesn’t necessarily mean your claim is invalid. Many veterans who are initially denied ultimately receive the benefits they deserve through the VA appeals process. Here’s why:

Strengthening Your Case—The appeals process allows you to submit additional evidence that may not have been included in your initial application. This could include new medical records, witness statements, or a clearer explanation of how your disability is connected to your military service.

Experienced Representation—VA disability law can be intricate, and having an experienced attorney on your side can make a significant difference. An attorney can help you navigate the appeals process, ensure you meet all deadlines, and present your case in the most persuasive way possible.

Don’t be discouraged by a denial. Explore your appeal options and fight for the benefits you deserve.

What is the Most Common VA Rating for PTSD?

Don’t Give Up—Fight for Your Benefits

Receiving a denial letter from the VA can feel discouraging. However, it doesn’t have to be the end of the road. You have the right to appeal a VA decision, but you must act within a limited timeframe. The appeals process can be complex, so it’s often best to seek legal help.

A successful appeal often hinges on strengthening your case with new medical records, statements from experts, or more detailed documentation of your in-service experience. VA disability attorneys understand the system’s complexities. They’ll advocate for your rights, build a strong appeal, and help you navigate the process to maximize your chances of securing the benefits you’ve earned.

Get Legal Help With Your VA Claim

If you’ve received a VA disability denial, don’t lose hope. The attorneys at Tabak Law have a deep understanding of veterans’ benefits law and are dedicated to helping you fight for what you rightfully deserve. Contact us today for a free VA benefits case review and let us guide you through the appeals process.

Nothing posted on this website is intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice. Blog postings and site content are available for general education purposes only.

Skip to content