Virginia VA Disability Lawyers

Virginia has the third-highest veteran population in the U.S., which means a large number of VA claims for disability compensation are filed by Virginia veterans. The VA erroneously denies many of these claims or assigns a disability rating that is too low. If you are a veteran living in Virginia and have received an unfavorable adjudication, you may need the assistance of Virginia VA disability lawyers, and you will want the ones you can trust the most to help you with your appeal. Gang & Associates sets itself apart from other law firms based on decades of experience assisting veterans from all over the U.S. and Virginia with their approach to VA disability appeals. 

Virginia Veterans – Filing a Service-Connected Claim 

Our nation’s military veterans who reside in Virginia deserve the benefits and compensation they have earned. You may be entitled to such compensation as a veteran if you show you have a service-connected disability. You do not have to demonstrate that your  currently diagnosed disabling condition arose due to your military service, only that you were diagnosed with a disabling condition while serving on active duty in the military, within one year immediately following your discharge, or within a presumptive period following your discharge for some statutorily prescribed conditions.. There are different ways of showing service connection:  

  1. Direct Service Connection –  Your current disability or disease was incurred in service. 
  2. Aggravation – A pre-existing condition prior to service that worsened during your service.  
  3. Secondary Service Connection – A disability that is not directly caused by your service but results from a primary disability that has been service-connected. 
  4. Presumptive Service Connection – The VA automatically presumes that specific disabilities delineated by law, such as bladder cancer, hypothyroidism, and Parkinsonism, among a long list, were caused by your military service. 

Although Gang & Associates may not assist with the filing of your initial VA claim, our webpage has free resources and guides to help you. You may file your VA disability claim in person, by mail, by fax, or online at the VA portal. However, we strongly recommend you obtain the free assistance of an accredited Veterans Service Officer (VSO), who can help you gather any evidence you need to support your claim, including any necessary medical records, and submit a fully developed claim. 

After you file your claim, the VA will likely request you submit to a medical exam, also called a Compensation and Pension (C&P) exam, as part of the claims process. This VA medical exam helps the adjudicators determine if you have a service-connected disability and what to rate your disability.

Suppose the VA concludes that you are disabled and your disability is service-related. In that case, their next step would be to determine your disability rating, which may range from 0% to 100%. Your assigned rating may equate to tax-free monthly compensation as well as other benefits. However, if the VA denies your claim or you are unsatisfied with your rating, you have exactly one year from the date of your decision letter to appeal their decision. That is when it is time to contact VIrginia VA disability lawyers, Gang & Associates. 

Virginia Veterans – Know the Appeal Process

The VA may deny your claim or rate your disability too low for a variety of reasons. Among the most common reasons are that the veteran did not submit enough evidence, did not obtain a specific diagnosis, or did not have all the elements needed to prove service connection successfully. Another reason is that the VA may have incorrectly interpreted the facts or law. Many of these denied claims have a good chance of success on appeal if you know how to address them properly. 

The VA disability appeals process has been revised in the last few years, but is still very involved. There is a reason the VA denied your claim in the first place, and our Virginia VA disability lawyers have the experience and know-how to interpret your claim, gather any additional evidence, and present the best possible case on appeal. The VA may correct any mistakes you or they made on appeal. There are three decision review options you have to choose from if you decide to appeal. 

  1. Supplemental Claim – You may request a VA examiner review your case if you have new and relevant evidence to present, that is, evidence that you can now submit to help prove your claim which was unavailable at the time of your previous claim decision.
  2. Higher-Level Review – You may request a more experienced, senior reviewer at the VA to review your claim de novo, or “anew.” The senior reviewers were formerly called Decision Review Officers (DROs), and may correct a misinterpretation of fact or law at the lower level, however, you may not provide any new evidence. 
  3. Appeal to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (BVA) – You may appeal your case to the BVA, an Administrative Appeals Board of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. A Veterans’ Law Judge (VLJ) will review and adjudicate your claim. If you appeal to the BVA, you have three options on how the BVA will review your case. You may either (1) elect to proceed directly to review and adjudication by a VLJ, without submitting any additional evidence; (2) elect to submit additional evidence prior to review and adjudication by a VLJ; or (3) elect to have a hearing before a VLJ, either in-person at the BVA central office in Washington, DC, by video conference or by teleconference. Evidence may also be submitted following the hearing if the VLJ leaves the record open.

If you are not pleased with the results of the first option you choose, you may select a different eligible option. For example, after a Supplemental Claim, you may request another Supplemental Claim, a Higher-Level Review, or a Board Appeal. After a Higher-Level Review, you may request a Supplemental Claim or a Board Appeal. After a Board Appeal, you may request a Supplemental Claim or appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. The whole process can be confusing, but we’re here to guide you.

Virginia VA Disability Lawyers: Gang & Associates Is Ready to Assist 

Our VA-accredited attorneys at Gang & Associates will know which of the decision review options is the best avenue for your particular case. We have filed appeals for thousands of veterans, are well-versed in all areas of VA disability law, and know the ins and outs of the VA disability process. We focus exclusively on VA benefits law and are recognized nationally for successfully handling the most complex VA appeals. Contact us for a free consultation to discuss your case and options for appeal.  

Disclaimer: Please note that Gang & Associates is a national law firm with a focus on serving veterans across the United States. While this and other pages on our website provide state-specific information, our services extend nationwide to assist veterans in need. Gang & Associates is a national veterans disability law firm.