One court decision made on a veteran’s disability claim could have a far-reaching impact on other vets. It pertains to a case that went all the way to the U.S. Court of Appeals. A highly decorated Lieutenant Colonel wasn’t able to file an appeal on a denied claim because he missed the 120 day deadline to do so. But that decision was overturned.
The basis of the argument was that at the time his claim was denied, he was deployed a second time to Afghanistan. Because of this, Veteran’s Administration (VA) should have given him an extension to file the appeal.
Besides the challenges faced by service men and women deployed to combat areas, another issue that arose was the difficulty of readjusting to civilian life, which the court found could affect “his ability to protect his legal rights.” This may include filling out paperwork, gathering evidence and other complicated parts of the disability process.
The results of this case could make it easier for those who have been deployed or whose deployment substantially impacts their ability to appeal a claim, to receive an extension. Of course, each case is different. So it’s important to understand that not every decision will be the same. However, it does raise awareness of the difficulties that servicemembers could face when reentering the civilian world. For some, they are dealing with emotional and/or physical challenges from time served in combat.
Understanding deadlines, filling out forms, obtaining medical records and other aspects of filing a claim or appealing a denied claim can be yet another obstacle for a vet to overcome. But they don’t have to do it alone. If you need assistance filing an initial application for disability or appealing a claim that has been denied, contact the Law Offices of Veterans Help Group today: 855-855-8992.