U.S. VA Disability Higher-Level Review Attorney

Dedicated VA Disability Higher-Level Review Attorney For Veterans In The U.S.

When a veteran files a claim for disability benefits with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), they may not always receive the decision they were hoping for. In some cases, the VA may deny or undervalue their claim, leaving them without the compensation and support they deserve. However, veterans have options to challenge these decisions and seek a fair outcome. In some cases, a veteran may request a Higher-Level Review (HLR) to address errors that occurred when a claim was initially handled by the VA.

At The Vet Law Office, we work to help veterans receive the benefits they need when they have experienced service-related disabilities. As a disabled veteran himself, Attorney Farmer understands the difficulties people face in these situations, and he is dedicated to helping veterans receive the benefits they need and deserve.

When to Pursue a Higher-Level Review

If you disagree with the decision made by the VA regarding your disability claim, you have several avenues for appeal. One option is pursuing a Higher-Level Review. This process allows you to request that a more senior reviewer within the VA take another look at your case.

A Higher-Level Review can be pursued when the veteran believes his disability decision contains an obvious error in law or fact. An HLR must be requested within one year after you receive your initial rating decision or after receiving a response from a supplemental claim. You cannot request a Higher-Level Review in response to another Higher-Level Review decision.

The Process of a Higher-Level Review

To initiate a Higher-Level Review, you must submit Form 20-0996 to the VA. This form can be submitted online, through the mail, or in person at a VA regional office. During this stage of appeal, you cannot submit additional evidence, but you can provide arguments against the decision using existing evidence in the record. This track is effective for correcting effective date errors, clear factual errors, or obvious errors in applying the law.

Once your request is received by the VA, it will assign an experienced reviewer who is supposed to conduct an independent analysis of all relevant evidence and documentation already present in your file. The goal of this process is to identify any errors made during previous evaluations and ensure consistency with applicable laws and regulations governing disability claims. The reviewer will determine whether the initial decision was correct or if it should be revised based on a more thorough examination of your case.

After completing the review, the VA will issue a new decision. If they find that an error was made in the original decision, they have the authority to overturn it and grant you benefits. However, if no errors are identified, or if there is insufficient evidence to support your claim, the original decision may be upheld.

When to Request an Informal Conference

In some cases, veterans may choose to request an informal conference as part of the Higher-Level Review process. An informal conference provides an opportunity for you or your attorney to discuss your case with a senior reviewer from the VA's Regional Office.

An informal conference can be beneficial when:

  • You believe that discussing your case directly with a senior reviewer could help clarify any misunderstandings or address specific concerns.
  • You want to provide additional information verbally rather than relying solely on written documentation.
  • You prefer a more personal approach and feel that direct communication may lead to better outcomes.

During an informal conference, you can present arguments supporting your claim while engaging in open dialogue with the senior reviewer. This allows both parties to gain a deeper understanding of each other's perspectives and potentially resolve any issues before reaching a final decision. However, resolving a claim through an informal conference may take longer than in other situations, and the process may be completed more quickly by submitting a written statement along with an application for a Higher-Level Review.

Contact Our Experienced VA Disability Higher-Level Review Attorney

If you are considering pursuing a Higher-Level Review for your VA disability claim or requesting an informal conference, it is crucial to seek guidance from an experienced attorney who has a strong understanding of the legal issues that affect VA disability benefits. At The Vet Law Office, our dedicated lawyer has extensive experience assisting veterans throughout the United States with appeals of VA disability claims.

We understand how important these benefits are for veterans who have sacrificed so much for our country. Our attorney will work closely with you to review your case, gather additional evidence if necessary, and determine the best steps to take to ensure that you receive the benefits you need. Remember, time is of the essence when it comes to appealing VA disability decisions. Contact us today at 1-800-700-4174 to schedule a consultation and discuss your options for pursuing a fair outcome in your VA disability claim.

badge badge badge badge badge badge
Back to Top