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Most Common Reasons VA Disability Claims Are Denied

A little more than half of VA disability claims that are submitted to the VA each year are initially denied. This means there is a greater likelihood than not that your claim will be denied, necessitating an appeal to preserve your rights and obtain your benefits. This statistic can be disheartening to hear, especially if you are in need of benefits sooner rather than later.

There is no way to guarantee with 100 percent certainty that your claim will be approved and you will not need to appeal a denial. However, knowing the most common reasons why claims are denied can help you and your representative prepare and more thoroughly review your initial claim so as to increase your chances of having your claim approved.

Why are VA Disability Claims Denied?

Some of the most common reasons why your initial disability claim can be denied include:

Lack of Service Connection

It is not enough to obtain benefits to show that you have an injury or disability. The evidence the VA reviews must also show that the condition arose or worsened as a result of your military service. If your records are not complete in this regard, the VA may have concluded that your injury was not service-connected and therefore not eligible for benefits.

You Did Not File Your Claim in a Timely Manner

MedalOnce you leave the service, there is no time limit for filing a claim for disability benefits. The longer you wait to file your claim, though, the more difficult it becomes to obtain benefits. With the passage of time, there is an increasing opportunity for the VA to believe something other than your military service caused your injuries. You should consider filing for benefits, therefore, as close to the time your symptoms appear as possible.

Not Properly Documenting Your Claim

If your condition is not a presumptive condition that automatically entitles you to benefits, the VA’s decision on your claim will depend on the strength of the evidence it receives. If that evidence fails to conclusively show you are disabled, or the extent to which you are disabled, the VA may either deny your claim or assign you a low disability rating.

Get Help on Appeal with Valor Firm

If you do receive an unfavorable decision, remember that all is not lost. With help from Valor Firm, many unfavorable decisions and outcomes can be appealed and, with evidence and argument, overturned. 

It is important that you act quickly after receiving a denial, though. Your right to appeal and still maintain the back pay to which you are entitled depends on you promptly notifying the VA of your intent to appeal and then taking action. 

If your VA disability claim has been denied, Valor Firm would like to talk to you about your options. If you are one of the nearly seven out of ten veterans whose claims are denied each year, we will work quickly on your behalf to mount a successful appeal. 

Contact Valor Firm online or by calling or texting (504) 218-2510. 

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Werner, Hoffman, Greig & Garcia is committed to helping you rebuild your life after a hardship. We are not just your legal team—we are your allies, your partners, and your advocates. We will do everything we can to handle your case with compassion and care, and to get you the results you need!

“And for every fight we take on, know this…we are doing everything we can to make sure we win!”

— Werner, Hoffman, Greig & Garcia

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About the Author

Adam Werner is a partner and practicing attorney at WHG. He specializes in personal injury cases, workers’ compensation claims, and veteran disability benefits. He routinely writes about personal injury and workers comp topics for the Werner, Hoffman, Greig & Garcia blog

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