Filing An Appeal

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The VA Appeal Process

If you are reading this you are either waiting for a Rating Decision to be issued in your claim or have received a Rating Decision and want to appeal. Below is a summary of the VA appeal process. If at any point it becomes too confusing or you just want to talk about it, please call the nationwide veterans disability advocates of Veterans Disability Group at 800-953-6224 or fill out our free evaluation form. We’ll review your situation and explain your options at no cost to you for this initial review.

Understanding the VA Appeals Process

An appeal allows you to file a motion to change a decision made by a local VA office. You appeal will be reviewed by the Board of Veterans’ Appeals. Most people request an appeal for one of two reasons: the VA denied your benefits or you believe that the VA underrated the severity of your disability. According to the VA, though, you can appeal a decision for almost any reason. Your appeal will be reviewed by the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (the BVA).

 

    Notice of Disagreement

    There are a number of reasons you may want to file an appeal. If the VA denied you the benefits for a disability that you believe you received while in service or you believe your disability is more severe than the rating you received, you may want to appeal. You normally have one year from the date the Rating Decision is mailed to you to appeal. To appeal, you must simply send the VA a letter saying you disagree with the decision and why. This is called a Notice of Disagreement (NOD). The NOD should be sent to your local VA Regional Office (not to any medical center, clinic, etc.).

    Statement of the Case

    Sometime within a year of two after NOD is received, the VA Regional Office will issue another decision called a Statement of the Case (SOC). This is a detailed explanation by the local VA of why and how they came to their decision to deny your claim. This statement will include all the evidence, laws, and regulations that were compiled in making the decision.

     

    VA Form 9 (Substantive Appeal)

    If you are not satisfied with the SOC and want to Appeal you can file a VA Form 9 (Substantive Appeal) to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (BVA) in Washington, D.C. When you fill out this form you should be sure to state the specific benefit you want, any and all mistakes in the SOC. Form 9 must be submitted within 60 days of when the SOC was sent to you.

    Once you have gone through the entire appeal process, the BVA will send you a decision. This decision can be yes, no, or a remand. A remand occurs when the board does not believe it has enough information to make a decision and the claim is sent back to the local VA office. To make sure you are able to hit every deadline and that all paperwork is turned in, it is best to have an advocate. An advocate will be able to guide you through the process and see to it that you receive the best chance at success.

    Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims: Frequently Asked Questions

    What is the Court?

    If your case has been denied by the Board of Veterans’ Appeals, you may seek recourse by filing an appeal at the Court. Unlike the Board, which is part of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the Court is entirely separate from VA and is part of the federal court system. You have 120 days after the Board gives you a decision to appeal to the Court.

    Do you need an advocate at the Court?

    The Court will take an independent review of your appeal by reviewing your claims file and arguments submitted on your behalf. It is strongly influenced by the arguments that you, or your representative, will submit. Because of this, it is crucial that the arguments are clear and have a firm basis in the law. A highly skilled representative can help you prepare the strongest arguments possible. The VA will be represented by an attorney of its own at the Court.

    What is the cost?

    There is no cost to you. Any fees and costs that arise will be paid by the government if you win and we will not charge you anything if we are not successful. Contact us today to see what our veteran’s disability advocates can do for your case. We can help you get the money you deserve, even if your claim was previously denied.

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