Information About Employment Benefits Appeals
It is important to know how to appeal a decision regarding veterans employment benefits in the event that Veterans Affairs denies an employment benefit claim. A VA employment claim appeal is an applicant's request to challenge a denial. The VA employment benefits appeal process can initiate when an applicant receives the claims denial letter. A veteran may have grounds for the veterans employment benefits appeal process if the reason for rejection looks erroneous such as a question of eligibility. Obtaining employment benefits from the VA is important for transition veterans to find employment after discharge. For more information on veterans employment program eligibility appeal process, the following topics are available:
- How to start an appeal
- Appeal process
- Legal representation
How to Start an Appeal
The first step in the veterans employment program eligibility appeal process is to review the rejection letter for necessary appeal information. The rejection letter details how to start the veterans employment benefits appeal process by including where to submit the paperwork and the reasons for the rejection of the claim. In most cases, a VA employment claim appeal is the result of missing information, incomplete applications or missing required evidence. Applicants can find out which evidence is a requirement for a VA appeal by assessing the denial letter and compiling a list of the reasons for rejection. From this point, veterans should draft a Notice of Disagreement letter that lists all of the grievances with the claim denial and it includes all evidence refuting the denial. If a veteran is unsure if the reasons are enough for a VA employment claim appeal, he or she should go to the regional VA office and speak with a representative.
Do not wait to start a VA employment claim appeal. The veterans employment benefits appeal process has a time limit of one year after the VA sends the rejection letter. Any applicants who attempt to start a veterans employment benefits appeal process after the one-year time limit will be denied and the rejection of the claim will be final. Service members may need to look at other available benefits for veterans.
The Appeal Process
Veteran Affairs knows a veteran is initiating a VA employment claim appeal when they receive the Notice of Disagreement. The next step in the veterans employment benefits appeal process is for the local VA office to grant the VA employment claim appeal or send it back with a Statement of the Case (SOC). Veterans can find out why the VA denies claims since SOCs will list all laws, facts, regulations and reasons that influenced the VA claim decision. Sent along with the SOC is a VA Form 9. If a veteran is unhappy with the SOC, he or she should complete and submit the VA Form 9 as the second VA employment claim appeal requesting to appeal to the Board of Veterans' Appeals for review within 60 days of receipt of the SOC or a year of the claim. Veterans must provide detailed evidence to back up the appeal claim.
The two ways to provide evidence in a VA employment benefits appeal process is in person and in writing. When submitting evidence in writing, veterans must mail to the address stated in the rejection letter. Veterans should be sure to include a small letter as to why this evidence should change the outcome of the VA employment claim appeal decision. Submitting evidence in person is a bit more complicated, as any veteran who decides to submit his or her evidence in person must send a letter requesting a formal hearing. The VA will arrange a time and place for the VA employment claim appeal hearing, provide a room and assign a person to hear the evidence to make a written record. Presenting the evidence in person can be accomplished by either speaking, bringing witnesses in to speak or by presenting handwritten evidence.
If the Board of Veterans' Appeals denies the second VA employment claim appeal, they will provide a Supplemental Statement of Case (SSOC). At this point, the veteran can elect for a formal hearing. Board hearings are another way for applicants to receive a third party to review the VA employment claim appeal. However, veterans should know how long a VA board hearing takes to process an appeal decision, as each appeal requests increases wait time.
During the veterans employment benefits appeal process, veterans may use legal representation. Applicants can learn how to appeal a decision regarding veterans employment benefits directly from a lawyer with a focus in VA appeals. Representatives who help with the VA employment benefits appeal process are available from the Veterans Service Organization. However, all representatives from the Veterans Service Organization will have small fees associated for assistance with veterans employment benefits appeal process.
A veteran is entitled to have a private attorney, if he or she wishes. Understand that the private attorney must be legally licensed to represent a client in the veterans employment program eligibility appeal process case. It is up to the private attorney if he or she wants to assign fees or not depending on the circumstances. An agent, who is knowledgeable about veteran's law, is another party that can represent the veteran in these types of cases. Applicants should confer with the representative to find out the responsibilities of all parties during the VA appeal process.