Filing for VA disability benefits can be a long and frustrating process. If you were denied benefits or have completed the appeals process unsuccessfully, you may have another option other than starting the process over again by reapplying. You may be able to request that the VA regional office reopen your claim.
However, you do not have an automatic right to reopen your claim. You must provide the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) with new and material evidence, and your claim must be one that is eligible to be reopened.
What VA Disability Claims Can Be Reopened?
You may be eligible to reopen your claim for benefits if you have exhausted all of your appeals and they were denied, or you missed a deadline to appeal. There is no statute of limitations, or deadline, to file a request to reopen your claim.
Only certain types of VA disability claims can be reopened. These types of claims are eligible:
- Service-connected disability benefits
- Burial benefits
- Dependency Indemnity Compensation (DIC)
Other types of claims, such as for an increased disability rating, must be started over by filing a new application.
What Is Considered New and Material Evidence?
If your claim is eligible to be reopened, you must provide the VA with new and material evidence for this to happen. New and material evidence is evidence that you did not submit before that is substantial to your claim. It has to address the specific reasons for the last denial of your claim by the VA. The information must be so substantial that it would be unfair for the VA to refuse to reopen your claim.
Let Us Help You With Your VA Disability Claim
Filing a VA disability claim, appeal, or request to reopen your claim is complicated. Let our VA disability lawyers help you file your claim and provide the VA with the documentation that they need for your application to be approved. Call our Roswell office today to schedule your free consultation.