Brief Appeals Overview
By USVCP Staff Writers
July 23, 2018
An appeal is your formal request that the Board review the evidence in your VA file and review the law that applies to your appeal. The Board can either agree with your decision or change it. The Board can also send your file back to the VA for more processing before the Board makes its decision.
How To Appeal VA Denial Decision
To begin your appeal, write the VA a letter telling them you disagree with their decision. This letter is called your “Notice of Disagreement.” If you are denied more than one claim for a benefit (for example, if you claimed compensation for three disabilities and denied two of them), please tell the VA in your letter which claims you are appealing. Send your Notice of Disagreement to the address at the top of VA letter.
What happens after VA receives your Notice of Disagreement?
The VA will either grant your claim or send you a Statement of the Case. A Statement of the Case describes the facts, laws, regulations, and reasons that they used to make their decision. The VA will also send you a VA Form 9, “Appeal to Board of Veterans’ Appeals,” with the Statement of the Case. You must complete this VA Form 9 and return it to the VA if you want to continue your appeal.
How long do I have to start my appeal?
You have one year to appeal your decision. Your letter saying that you disagree with the VA decision must be postmarked (or received by the VA) within one year from the date of the original VA letter denying you the benefit. In most cases, you cannot appeal a decision after this one-year period has ended.
What happens if I do not start my appeal on time?
If you do not start your appeal on time, the VA decision will become final. Once the decision is final, you cannot get the VA benefit denied unless you either:
- Show the VA that they were clearly wrong to deny the benefit or
- Send the VA new evidence that relates to the reason(s) the VA denied your claim
Can I get a hearing with the Board?
Yes. If you decide to appeal, the Board will give you a hearing if you want one. The VA Form 9 we will send you with a Statement of the Case has complete information about the kinds of hearings the Board offers and convenient check boxes for requesting a Board hearing. The board does not require you to have a hearing. It is your choice.
Where can I find out more about appealing to the Board?
- You can find a “plain language” booklet called “How Do I Appeal,” on the Internet at: http://www.bva.va.gov/How_Do_I_Appeal.asp. The booklet also may be requested by writing to: Mail Processing Section (014), Board of Veterans’ Appeals, 810 Vermont Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20420.
- You can find the formal rules for appealing to the Board in the Board’s Rules of Practice at title 38, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 20. You can find the complete Code of Federal Regulations on the Internet at: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/cfr/index.html. A printed copy of the Code of Federal Regulations may be Available at your local library.