Archive for August, 2018

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VA Deadlines and Your Case

Wednesday, August 8th, 2018

Do the VA Deadlines Matter?

If you miss a VA deadline, it may jeopardize your case and you will need to start your claim all over from the beginning. This restarting of the clock can be especially frustrating if you want to pursue the claim any further in the future.

The most important time to think about deadlines is when you have an appeal going on or when you are considering an appeal. While there are some very rare exceptions, it is very important to comply with the VA’s deadlines.

Some basics about appeals and deadlines:

VA Deadlines to Know

Notice of Disagreement

Once you get a decision from the VA, you have one year from the date the decision was mailed by the VA to file a Notice of Disagreement. It’s important to note that the year starts from the date of the VA mailing, and not from the date you received the document.

Statement of the Case

If you start an appeal by filing a Notice of Disagreement, and the VA continues to deny your claim, the VA will send a Statement of the Case. If you don’t respond to the Statement of the Case with a Substantive Appeal, your claim is over. You have 60 days from the date of the statement mailing, or one year from the date of the original decision denying your claim – whichever is later.

Decision from Board of Veterans’ Appeals

If you get denied by the Board of Veterans’ Appeals after you appeal a case, to the Board of Veterans’, you have 120 days from the date of the decision being mailed to you in which to appeal the decision to the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.

Other Dates to Note

Action Requests

At some point, you may receive a letter from the VA asking you to do something. They may ask for additional information or request that you fill out a form that wasn’t filled out completely. The VA may provide a deadline for when they need to hear back from you. Sometimes those deadlines are official and legal, and sometimes they’re not, but if you don’t respond by the deadline, the VA can use that to delay or deny your claim.

Effective Dates

If you win a case at the VA and are awarded disability benefits, the date that your benefits begin may be determined by the date you file your claim. If you’re asking for service connection or an increased rating, the date you file your claim for those benefits is generally (there are some exceptions) about as early as your benefits can go back.

RAMP

Some of these rules are going to change with RAMP: Rapid Appeals Modernization Program. RAMP is currently being tested; when that law goes into effect, there will be different deadlines for different types of appeals. If you have questions about VA deadlines and your claim, contact a veterans benefits attorney.

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