Notice of Disagreement
WHAT IS A NOTICE OF DISAGREEMENT?
A notice of disagreement is the form you must file to indicate that you disagree with VA’s rating decision and want to appeal. Many veterans have to file a notice of disagreement because it is quite common that the initial rating decision you receive from VA will be wrong in some way.
Some common errors made by VA include:
- A determination that your disability is not service connected
- A failure to apply a presumption in your favor (such as the presumption of exposure to Agent Orange or the presumption that certain conditions were caused by Agent Orange)
- An incorrect rating for your disability
- An incorrect effective date for your disability
- A failure to consider or grant Total Disability Individual Unemployability (often known as TDIU or IU)
Are there deadlines for filing a notice of disagreement?
You need to know that there are deadlines for filing a notice of disagreement. Generally, the notice of disagreement must be filed within one year of the rating decision that you wish to appeal. If you do not file the notice of disagreement prior to the deadline, you probably will lose your right to appeal the decision. This usually causes you to lose eligibility for some benefits and can make it more difficult for you to apply for future benefits.
Must I use VA’s form to file an appeal?
Under changes in VA’s rules, you must now use a Form 21-0958 to file a notice of disagreement. If you do not use the right form, you may lose your right to appeal the decision. Once you file the notice of disagreement, you will receive an acknowledgement letter from VA. This letter allows you to select VA’s traditional appeal process or the decision review officer (DRO) appeal process.
Can an attorney help me out with my appeal?
A VA accredited attorney can help you file a notice of disagreement and can help you win your appeal. You can also file the notice of disagreement on your own. If you do decide to hire an attorney to represent you in your appeal of VA’s rating decision, you will usually only pay the attorney if you recover benefits from VA. The attorney’s fees is usually a percentage of the back due benefits that are recovered.
At our law firm, Travis Studdard and Jason Perkins represent veterans in VA disability claims. Both are VA accredited and handle initial applications and appeals. If you hire one of them to represent you in an appeal, they generally charge an attorney’s fee of twenty percent (20%) of the back due benefits that are recovered. If they do not succeed in recovering benefits for you, you will not owe an attorney’s fee. If you have questions or would like to have a free consultation, simply call the phone number or complete the “Need Help” form on the right side of this page. We’ll be happy to talk to you.