Attorney Ron SykstusThis is the number one question all of my veteran clients ask me, and it is a compound question:

How long do I have to wait during the appeal of my denied VA disability claims and why do I have to wait so long.

To this 2-part question, my answer is “a very long time, probably several years” to the first part of the question and “I don’t know why” to the 2nd part of the question.

I have written previously about the long delays and waiting time that Veterans have to go through in trying to obtain their benefits from a filed VA disability claim. Once you read these articles, you will shake your head in disbelief, like most veterans going through this frustrating process.

Unfortunately, there has been no improvement in the wait times for Veterans regarding their disability claims, despite all of the talk in Washington, D.C., of wanting to help Veterans who have honorably and selflessly served our country.  The delays and ridiculous wait times by the VA in processing disability claims continues, as do the complaints by Veterans.

What can you do?  Not much.  Stay dogged.  Keep copies of everything you send and receive. Mail everything to the VA by Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested.  On the front of the green card, before you mail it, write your full name and the title and date of the letter or document that you are sending.  Keep a copy of the green card.  Invariably, if you don’t have proof of what you sent to the VA, the VA will claim they never received what you said you sent to them.  NEVER EVER miss a VA deadline in the claims process and NEVER EVER miss a scheduled VA appointment.  If you do, the VA will hold that against you forever.

One final piece of advice in this day and age of Google and Facebook. If the VA tells you in its denial of your claim that you cannot prove service connection of your disability, try to locate any of your friends that were with you when the event that happened that gave rise to your current disability. Have your military friends write a statement on what they recall happening to you and the approximate time that it happened. These are called “buddy statements.”   Using Google or Facebook, you should be able to locate at least one or two people who can recall the injury that happened you, the complaints you made, your repeated requests to go on sick call, etc.   “Buddy statements” can go a long way towards helping to prove service connection for an event that happened in service that has resulted in a veteran’s current disability.

These blog posts below will give you information on how to proceed with your VA claim.  Thank you for your service.

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