Veterans Claims and Appeals Process Overview

To obtain VA benefits you must first file a written claim with a VA regional office.  The VA regional office then must issue a written decision either granting or denying benefits.  You have one year from the date stamped on the decision to file a Notice of Disagreement (NOD), which is simply a written statement that you disagree with the decision or any part of it (e.g., the rating percentage) and want to appeal.

Once the NOD is filed, the VA regional office will either attempt to resolve the dispute or will issue a Statement of the Case (SOC) providing a summary of the law, evidence, and reasons for the VA’s denial of benefits.

You have the remainder of the year stamped on the VA’s decision or 60 days from the date of the SOC, whichever is later, to submit a Substantive Appeal (Form 9), which sends your case to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals.  The Board will render a decision upon review of your claims file, including any new evidence submitted.  The Board may grant or deny benefits or remand the claim back to the VA regional office for further development.

If the Board denies all or part of your claim, you may file a further appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.  You must file your Notice of Appeal within 120 days after the date of the Board’s decision.

We can represent you if you have a recent Board decision or have filed your appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.

We can also represent you if you have an initial decision from the VA regional office and you filed your timely Notice of Disagreement after June 20, 2007.