VA Claim Denied? 10 Common Reasons for VA Disability Claim Denials

You served your country with honor. Then, whether during training, on the job or in combat, you sustained an injury. You’re not looking for a handout—you just need to get better, especially as your injury seems to be getting worse. So you submitted a veterans benefits claim. But then, the VA denied your request. Why was your VA claim denied? We’ll explore some likely and common reasons why your claim was denied and tips to appeal below.

10 Reasons Why You May Have Your Veterans Benefits Claim Denied by the VA

When you have a veterans benefits claim denied, it’s not uncommon to go through a range of emotions—disbelief, then confusion, then betrayal, then anger, and more. But the reasons for getting a veterans benefits claim denied are often simple, and can be appealed. here are a few reasons your veterans disability claim may have been denied.

  1. Lack of Service Connection: The disability must be directly connected to military service or aggravated by it. If there’s insufficient evidence linking the disability to service, the claim may be denied.
  2. Insufficient Medical Evidence: The VA requires thorough documentation of the disability and its impact on daily life. Inadequate medical records or assessments can lead to a denial.
  3. Pre-existing Condition: If the condition existed before military service and there’s no evidence of aggravation during service, your disability claim may be denied.
  4. Inconsistent Information: Contradictory statements or inconsistencies in medical records can raise doubts about the validity of the claim.
  5. Failure to Attend Medical Exams: If the claimant fails to attend VA-requested medical exams, the claim can be denied due to lack of necessary information.
  6. Disability Rating Not Meeting Threshold: The VA assigns disability ratings based on the severity of the condition. If the rating doesn’t meet the minimum threshold for compensation, the claim may be denied.
  7. Missed Deadlines: Failure to submit required forms or evidence within specified deadlines can result in denial.
  8. Lack of Nexus Statement: For conditions not clearly connected to service, a nexus statement from a medical professional is often required. Without this, the claim may be denied.
  9. Failure to Prove Continuity of Symptoms: If there’s a lack of evidence showing that the disability has persisted since service, the claim may be denied.
  10. Fraud or Misrepresentation: Providing false information or intentionally misleading the VA can lead to denial of the disability claim and potential legal consequences.

My VA Disability Benefits Claim Was Denied: How to Start the Appeals Process

If your veteran disability benefits request was denied, you have the option to appeal or request reconsideration for your denied claim. However, there are certain circumstances where reconsideration is more appropriate than the appeals process, and vice versa.

When Should You Request Reconsideration of a VA Claim Denial?

Reconsideration is the process of asking the Board of Veteran Appeals (BVA) to look at your original application without the need to submit further evidence. Reconsideration is exclusively used if there’s a “clear and unmistakable error” in their judgement that can be easily contested if your case is re-reviewed.

When Should You Appeal a VA Claim Denial?

Appealing a VA disability claim denial is the process used to contest a negative ruling by providing additional information about your disability, informing them about changes in your living situation, or disputing decisions made about the severity of your disability. Appealing a denial of a VA (Department of Veterans Affairs) claim can be a complex decision, but there are several situations where it might be advisable:

  1. Errors or Misunderstandings: If you believe there was a mistake in the evaluation of your claim or if there was a misunderstanding of your medical condition or service history, appealing can provide an opportunity to correct these issues.
  2. New Evidence: If you obtain new evidence that supports your claim, such as additional medical records or a nexus letter from a medical professional connecting your current condition to your military service, it may strengthen your case on appeal.
  3. Change in Circumstances: Sometimes, your condition may worsen after your initial claim was denied. If this happens, it may be appropriate to appeal the denial to reflect the current severity of your condition.
  4. Legal or Procedural Errors: If you believe the VA made an error in applying the law or procedural rules to your disability claim, appealing can provide a chance to address these issues.
  5. Unsatisfactory Rating: If you receive a disability rating lower than you believe you deserve, appealing can be a way to seek a higher rating that better reflects the impact of your condition on your daily life and ability to work.

Before appealing, it’s crucial to review the reasons for the denial carefully and gather any additional relevant evidence, or documentation that supports your claim. Additionally, seeking assistance from a Veterans Service Organization (VSO) or an attorney experienced in VA claims can be helpful in navigating the appeals process and presenting the strongest case possible.

You Need Better Documentation and (Probably) a Lawyer

If you’ve had your veterans benefits claim denied, we recommend you read the Board of Veterans’ Appeals pamphlet. Right on page 1, it says “Help is available from national and state Veterans Service Organizations, attorneys, or agents recognized by VA.”

Even if you filled all your paperwork out properly, veterans and the VA sometimes argue about whether their health issues qualify for benefits. Veterans often feel like they are on uneven footing, because they have to show as much evidence to argue against such a massive organization in order to receive their disability compensation.

That’s where legal help can also come into play. Lawyers will make sure your paperwork accurately reflects the degree of your disability and includes all necessary medical documentation. That gives you your best chance at getting the disability benefits you’ve earned. So if you already had your first veterans benefits claim denied, don’t give up… appeal with help from a VA-accredited lawyer!

Was Your First Veterans Benefits Claim Denied? Contact an Experienced Veterans Disability Attorney

Veterans lawyers are far more affordable than many disabled veterans may realize. These attorneys can make sure that you get all the VA disability benefits you deserve—including back-pay for medical bills that the government may owe you but hasn’t paid (because of reason #1 in this article, for example). An attorney can help you get the money and the care you need without any out-of-pocket cost to you.

Get a quick evaluation to see if you qualify for a free, no-obligation consultation with an attorney. They can help you get past the red tape and get the care you deserve when you have you VA claim denied.

Ready to see if you may qualify? Click the button below to start your free online benefits evaluation now!

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Shay Fleming is the SEO Content Manager at LeadingResponse. A proud graduate of Texas State University, she has been based in Austin since 2016, where she lives with her dog. Shay has contributed extensively to various domains, writing and publishing articles about real estate, investing, disability, and urban living.