|Matthew Hill:||Hello, and welcome to another Hill & Ponton Veteran’s Video Blog. I’m Matthew Hill here with …|
|Carol Ponton:||Carol Ponton.|
|Matthew Hill:||Today we’re continuing our series on what we see are big mistakes that veterans make with their claims. This is the third mistake. The first one was not filing a claim, being told that the claim is just not valid, and, therefore, not filing it. The second one was not filing a complete number of claims, meaning you file a claim for your back, but forget to file it for the numbness in your legs, the radiculopathy.|
|Today, we’re gonna talk about the appeal itself. Once you get a decision, what you need to do after the decision. The two avenues we’ve seen are to appeal it, or to ask for a reconsideration. Carol, what are your thoughts on this?|
|Carol Ponton:||Don’t ask for a reconsideration. That’s my thought. You know, one of the saddest things is that we see people not continue their appeals. If you’re asking for a reconsideration, you’re not appealing. It’s sort of a new claim, a reopened claim, whatever you want to call it. You’ve got to say, “I disagree” and now there’s a form that you have to use.|
|The saddest thing I see is people are getting advice, wait a year, or a little over a year, and then file a new claim. That means that they’re losing all these past due benefits. The thing you need to do is you need to file a notice of disagreement, and you need to make it’s on the form that the VA requires. Now, so you filed a claim. You’re denied. What do you do then? You file that appeal, but then you need to get evidence. You need to figure out, why is the VA denying you?|
|Matthew Hill:||Right. Well, so with reconsideration, in particular, I talk to veterans about this all the time. They want to have their case reconsidered instead of filing an NOD, because they’re told that it’ll be reviewed faster. I think that’s probably true. I think they’ll get a decision faster than if they enroll in the appeal process and the DRO process like we do, but what’s important to remember is person most likely reviewing your case, if you ask for reconsideration, is the same person who just denied it.|
|Maybe you have great evidence you’re submitting, and there’s probably a reason to do it, but otherwise, that person’s going to deny it again. All that’s done is put you further back in the line, cause at that point, after your second denial, you’re going to want to appeal, and then you’re in the back of the line again.|
|Carol Ponton:||You may have missed your date, so you’re appealing this most recent decision, instead of the one way back.|
|Matthew Hill:||Yeah, I just don’t see much benefit. One exception that I actually tell veterans to go file a reconsideration is when I look at a decision, and the reason they were denied was failure to show up to an exam. So if I see the vet has a very strong PTSD case, he was actually diagnosed in service, or there’s current diagnosis with strong evidence, and he was denied because he didn’t go to the exam, at that point I’ll say “Look, you don’t need our services right now.”|
|What you need to do is file a reconsideration, and my hope would be that the C & P exam would be favorable and not only would he get a new decision quickly, but he’d actually start getting benefits.|
|Matthew Hill:||That’s one instance where I definitely recommend doing it, because it’s just not worth waiting all those years if you have an excuse, you have to tell them why you didn’t show up, but give them a valid excuse and then you should be able to get it there.|
|Matthew Hill:||In general, Carol and I adamantly feel that this is such a long process, getting your case won, once you have to appeal. You don’t want to make it longer than you need to.|
|Matthew Hill:||That’s what we see reconsideration doing. So thanks for joining us today. Again, this was our big mistake series, and this was number three, and that is filing reconsideration instead of an NOD.|
|Carol Ponton:||Or not appealing at all.|
|Matthew Hill:||Or not appealing at all.|
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