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Nearly 74 percent of appeals are from Veterans who are already receiving VA disability compensation, but are seeking either a higher level of compensation or payment from an earlier effective date.Once an appeal has been filed, a Veteran may also engage an attorney, but at his or her own expense.Even in my current position as a public affairs specialist for the Veterans Benefits Administration, I continue to get asked the same questions, so I thought I’d explain the process and address common questions through a series of blog posts.What’s the difference between a claim and an appeal?The Appeals Process The multi-stage appellate process is available to you after you have already received one or more decisions on your claim, but disagree with some aspect of VA’s decision.

The ZA also manages the Planning Department's Zoning and Compliance Teams.The laws also allow for service connection for conditions caused or aggravated (permanently worsened) by conditions that are already service connected.Once the decision is made to grant service connection, VA examines the medical evidence and assigns a level of disability under the VA Schedule for Rating Disabilities. This means that if the evidence is weighed equally, 50 percent in your favor and 50 percent against, the claim is granted or the higher of two evaluations is assigned.Often when I speak to many of you, you will say something like, “I have had a claim pending for 10 years.” Almost always, you have an appeal pending and not a claim.I don’t say this to undermine the frustration you feel from being in an appellate status for so long.

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