What is the Appeals Process?
An appeal of a local decision involves many steps, some optional and some necessary, and require strict time limits. In order, the steps are:
Usually, all issues on one VA decision will be included in the same appeal.
Notice of Disagreement (NOD)
A Notice of Disagreement is a written statement that you disagree with a decision that has been made.
Certain things should be kept in mind when submitting a NOD:
Statement of the Case (SOC)
A Statement of the Case tells you how the VA reached its decision. A SOC must be done when a Notice of Disagreement is filed or when new evidence
Formal Appeal (VA Form 9 or equivalent)
A formal appeal must be received no later than one of these two dates:
Hearings are a chance for claimants to present their claim in person; they are totally optional. They are held at the regional office by a Hearing Officer (HO).
If you have a hearing, the HO will review your file and statements before making a decision on your case. If the issue is not resolved in your favor, the appeal continues.
Board of Veterans’ Appeals (BVA)
The Board of Veterans Appeals looks at your claim for mistakes made by the local VA office.
The BVA does have travel boards that come to local offices. This decision is the final VA one on the issue, and the appeal will have ended.
However, a BVA decision can be reviewed by the Court of Veterans Appeals if an appeal to the court is filed within 120 days of the BVA decision.
U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans’ Claims (CAVC)
CAVC decisions usually concern legal issues involved in the “letter of the law”, and usually require an attorney’s help. The deadline for filing an appeal to CAVC is 120 days after the BVA decision (using the date of the letter to you informing you of the decision).
Overview of the VA Appeals Process
Typical issues appealed are:
A claimant has one year from the date of the notification of a VA decision to file an appeal. The first step in the appeal process is for a claimant to file a written notice of disagreement with the VA regional office or medical center that made the decision. This is a written statement that a claimant disagrees with VA’s decision.
Following receipt of the written notice, VA will furnish the claimant a “Statement of the Case” describing what facts, laws and regulations were used in deciding the case. To complete the request for appeal, the claimant must file a “Substantive Appeal” within 60 days of the mailing of the Statement of the Case, or within one year from the date VA mailed its decision, whichever period ends later.
- Food Stamps
- Social Security
- Supplemental Security Income
- Unemployment Compensation
- Veterans Benefits
- Consumer & Bankruptcy
- Federal Income Tax
- Migrant Farm Workers
Additional information may be found at:
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This brochure was prepared by South Carolina Legal Services and is provided as a public service.
Copyright retained by South Carolina Legal Services
Printed January 2010
South Carolina Legal Services is a statewide law firm that provides civil legal services to protect the rights and represent the interests of low-income South Carolinians.
All low-income South Carolinians will have full and fair access to justice.