Appeals for PTSD Rating
If your PTSD VA disability claim has been denied, you and your family will be unable to collect tax-free disability payments to cover lost earnings from your condition, and medical and mental health services for your PTSD may also go uncovered. When your claim is denied, a successful appeal is essential to get you back on track and able to collect the benefits you deserve. If your appeal is approved, you’ll often be able to collect the benefits you did not receive from the time of your initial application.
The VA disability lawyers from our VA benefits law firm are standing by to support the success of your appeal, and we only get paid if we win.
Options to Appeal Your Denied PTSD Claim
If your PTSD claim has been denied, your options are largely within the scope of VA decision reviews and appeals. You’ll have the options of:
- Decision review – You may file a supplemental claim with new and relevant evidence or ask for a higher-level review, which allows no new evidence.
- Board appeal – Through this option, you are appealing to a Veterans Law Judge at the Board of Veterans’ Appeals, which is located in Washington, D.C. Through this process a judge with expertise in veterans law reviews your case.
You have one year following the date of your decision letter to request a Board Appeal, a higher level review appeal, or a supplemental claim..Although in some situations like simultaneously contest claims (such as attorney fee disputes), the deadline can differ. A supplemental claim can be filed when you have new and relevant evidence, but if it is filed more than one year after the date of the initial denial, the effective date will be the date VA receives the supplemental claim. To receive the original claim filing date as your effective date, you must file a supplemental claim within one year of the denial. Similarly, if you have an older legacy case (i.e. prior to February 19, 2019) that results in a Board denial, you must file an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals within 120 days in order to preserve your original filing date. If you file a supplemental claim after a Board denial of a legacy claim, you risk severing your original effective date. Great caution should be taken when you receive a Board denial of an older, legacy case. It is critical to consult with an experienced VA appeals lawyer in those situations within the 120 days following the denial.
The Benefits of Working with a Veterans Disability Lawyer with a PTSD Focus
The VA is looking for particular evidence and information throughout your PTSD evaluation process. However, while you may in fact have PTSD, if the evidence submitted to the VA does not demonstrate your condition in a way that the VA can accept, then your claim will be denied. Whether your condition was misdiagnosed during your C&P exam, or the examiner was simply overworked and didn’t give your claim the attention it deserved, a denial can be financially ruinous to you and your household.
The experienced Veterans’ disability lawyers from our VA benefits law firm have decades of combined experience successfully challenging VA claims denials. We have worked on a great many cases dealing specifically with PTSD and recognize the importance of ensuring that your diagnosis and supporting evidence overcomes any defense on behalf of the VA that your condition is simply “malingering” and not PTSD.
The VA defines “malingering” as “the intentional production of false or grossly exaggerated physical or psychological symptoms motivated by external incentives such as avoiding military duty, avoiding work, obtaining financial compensation, etc.”. If the VA determines that your condition is not PTSD but “malingering,” it will be denied. This is why we counsel our clients to be comprehensive but truthful in their C&P exams. Exaggerating symptoms, more often than not, has a negative impact.