When your Pension claim is denied by the VA, you received a notice saying "If you disagree with our decision, you can file a Notice of Disagreement." What VA doesn't tell you is that in 99/100 cases, this is a complete waste of time! Why?
Because the claim was denied on the basis of law, not equity or fairness. An arguement that the denial wasn't fair or that you served in the wartime military services makes no difference. Pension claims are adjudicated on the basis of statute and regulation under Title 38 of the United States Code and Code of Federal Regulations, as well as VA policy found in the Adjudication Procedures Manual. When the VA denies a claim, they may not make it very clear just why the denied it, but eventually you will find that it was on the basis of incompleteness or improper and/or missing evidence. Just saying "It's not fair!" is essentially meaningless. The response must be based on law and on correcting the deficienceies of evidence. This is all the VA will repond to favoirably. And, a Notice of Disagreement or Appeal is NOT the way to go!
Notices of Disagreement (NOD) are the first step in what can be a length and time consuming appeals process. The NOD is reviewed by a Decision Review Officer (DRO) who may either override the initial decision if VA made a mistake (unlikely!) or remand it back to the office where it was first adjudicated. More likely, they will simply reaffirrm the denial. It often takes the DRO a year or more to make their decision on a case.
In law, there is a much simplier and faster way to "fix" a denial if the denial was based on evidence or incompleteness issues. Instaed of a year or more, the "fix" may only take 3-4 months. And in most cases the "fix" will extend retroactively to when you first applied for benefits.
At CFEVR, we have a dedicated, experienced team that will review your denial and advise you on the best course of action. Our initial consultations are without cost or obligation. To allow us to do the best job possible for you, providing us with a copy of the original claim , evidence and VA denial letter will help us to more quickly and accurately provide sound advice and insight.
Call our Denial Team at 1-800-394-1250 today for a free initial consultation. For more general information about CFEVR, visit our web site at www.cfevr.org.