|Matthew Hill:||Hello and welcome to the Hill and Ponton video blog. I’m Matthew Hill.|
|Carol Ponton:||Carol Ponton.|
|Matthew Hill:||And we are talking about big mistakes or misconceptions we see that veterans have that wind up interfering in, frankly preventing them from getting the compensation they deserve. Today, we want to talk about time frames. Time frames on appeal, time frames to get a decision and how that plays out. What do you see Carol?|
|Carol Ponton:||Well first of all across the country as everyone knows the VA is really backed up. Now when you file a new claim they’ve gotten pretty good at denying you quickly. But once you file an appeal usually it’s three years or more before you get a decision on that appeal.|
|Matthew Hill:||It depends on where … I mean I’ve seen 18 months. There’s sometimes they’re…|
|Carol Ponton:||It could be 18 months but I would say many of the places are three years or more. So you file a notice of disagreement, or an NOD. It may take that long to get a decision. And then if you’re unhappy you get a statement of the case that comes to you denying things, you file a VA9 and go to the Board of Veterans Appeal. That has taken three years. Now …|
|Matthew Hill:||So she said two three-year periods. You have the period from when you file the appeal at the regional office. You get denied there. That’s three years. Then you file another appeal to the board. And that’s three years.|
|Carol Ponton:||And what I see happening is people think someone will tell them I can get a decision for you right now. Drop all these appeals and file a new claim. Well you’ve just given up six years of benefits. And you may get another denial.|
|Matthew Hill:||Yeah, right, Is the question getting …|
|Carol Ponton:||A decision or approval.|
|Matthew Hill:||Right. Right. And that can be confused and it’s important to remember that. Because if you got denied at the regional office once, twice … why are they going to grant it to you this time?|
|Matthew Hill:||Do they understand the law better? Do you have some bulletproof evidence? But yeah, in addition to that even if you do win you just lost a lot of benefits. Thousands, tens of thousands of dollars.|
|Carol Ponton:||And I wish veterans would think about that because somebody says I can get you a decision. It sounds good unless you realize somebody should say, “And it’s probably gonna be a denial.”|
|Carol Ponton:||And you’re going to lose all your past due benefits. So think about what you’re doing before you give that up.|
|Matthew Hill:||We’d say there’s a big catch. Somebody says I can get this for you now, I can get this for you shortly. After you’ve been on appeal for quite some time … I’d be cautious of that. And ask yourself and frankly ask them …|
|Carol Ponton:||What’s the difference that they’re gonna approve you now where they didn’t approve you before.|
|Matthew Hill:||Right. So just think about that. Time frames are what they are. We never sugar coat or lie to our clients and say look hire us we can get it done faster. We can do it more competently and we can make sure they get the benefits they deserve by developing the evidence. But if speed is what you’re looking for be careful what you get on the other end.|
|Matthew Hill:||Thanks for joining us at the Hill and Ponton video blog and please stay tuned to this space for more of our big mistakes we see. Thank you.|
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