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Why Was My VA Disability Claim Denied? When Claims Go Wrong

Why Was My VA Disability Claim Denied?


Having a VA disability claim denied can be discouraging and confusing. Unfortunately, initial claim denials are common, with around 30% of claims rejected. If you received an unfavorable decision, here are some top reasons VA claims get denied and tips to improve your chances on appeal:

1. Lack of Current Diagnosis

Simply citing an in-service event or exposure is not enough. You must demonstrate a current diagnosed disability. For example, if you were exposed to Agent Orange, show medical records confirming a resulting condition like cancer. Providing a clear diagnosis tied to your military service is key.

2. Condition Not Service-Connected

VA benefits only cover disabilities occurring in or caused by military service. Conditions that onset after service discharge, like losing a limb in a car accident, are generally ineligible. However, conditions emerging later from trauma or exposure during service, like PTSD, can qualify if properly documented.

3. Insufficient Nexus Evidence

You must prove your disability is linked to your military service. Obtain a medical opinion from your doctor explicitly relating your condition to an in-service event or exposure. Provide service records and post-service treatment records showing the progression from event to diagnosis. Fully demonstrate how they are connected.

4. Errors in Submitted Evidence

Something as minor as inconsistent dates across documents or missing pages in medical records can get a claim denied. Review all evidence thoroughly prior to submission. Keep copies of everything submitted. Correct any errors as part of the appeal.

5. Changes to VA Claim Requirements

Eligibility criteria sometimes change, causing previously approved claims to get denied upon renewal. VA claim specialists can identify where your new application fails to meet current requirements and help update it accordingly.

6. Failure to Attend C&P Exams

Not attending VA medical exams scheduled to evaluate claimed conditions is guaranteed to result in denial. If you miss an exam, contact VA immediately to reschedule. Bring documentation if issues like health problems or not receiving notice caused the absence.


Don't Give Up - Work with a VA Disability Attorney on Your Appeal

If your claim was denied, contact a VA disability attorney right away to explore your options. An experienced lawyer can identify any errors made and guide your appeal every step of the way. With proper representation, many initially denied veterans go on to win their appeals and secure the benefits they earned. Don't delay - you have only one year to appeal your VA disability claim decision and get expert help fighting for the support you deserve.


VA disability claims can be denied for various reasons, but some common ones include a lack of a current diagnosis, failure to establish a service connection, insufficient nexus evidence linking the disability to military service, errors in submitted evidence, and changes in VA claim requirements.

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If you or a loved one have been injured and think you might have a case, call us now for a free consultation.