All benefits decisions can be appealed. The VA appeals process is set in law and is different from other judicial appeals processes.
If you disagree with all or part of a benefits decision made by the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), you may:
- File a new claim with your regional office along with any missing evidence.
- Initiate an appeal at your regional office by filing a Notice of Disagreement (NOD). Accredited representatives can help you with this decision and the process.
When do I file an NOD?
An NOD must be filed within one year from the date on the letter notifying you of the decision on your claim(s).
How do I file?
Complete and file VA Form 21-0958.
VBA will prepare and mail you a written explanation, known as a Statement of the Case (SOC), which explains why your claim was denied.
What if I still don’t agree with the decision made on my claim(s) after VBA issues the SOC?
If an appeal is not resolved to your satisfaction at the VBA level, you may formally continue that appeal to the Board for a de novo (new look) review and Board decision by filing a Substantive Appeal (VA Form 9).
When do I file a Substantive Appeal?
A Substantive Appeal must be filed within 60 days from the date on the letter accompanying the SOC, or within the remainder of the one-year period starting from the date on the letter notifying you of the original decision on your claim, whichever gives you more time.
How do I file a Substantive Appeal?
Complete and file VA Form 9.
Find out what happens to your appeal at the Board.
What is the status of my appeal?
Check the status of your appeal by calling 1-800-827-1000 or going online to eBenefits.
What if I want to submit additional evidence or argument in support of my appeal?
The continuous open record of the current VA appeals process allows you to submit new evidence and/or make new arguments at any point from the beginning to the end of the appeals process. Additionally, the duty to assist throughout the appeals process requires VA to develop further evidence on the Veteran’s behalf and pursue new arguments and theories of entitlement. Each time the Veteran presents new arguments and adds or obtains evidence, VA generally must issue another decision considering that evidence, which prolongs the time it takes to resolve the appeal.
What if I decide that I no longer want to pursue my appeal?
If at any time you decide that you no longer want to appeal the initial claim decision (regarding any or all of the issues involved in the appeal), you or your authorized representative may submit a written statement including your name, the applicable Department of Veterans Affairs file number, and a statement that you are withdrawing the appeal. If you request the withdrawal before you receive notice that the appeal has been transferred to the Board, submit this statement to VBA. Thereafter, the statement should be submitted directly to the Board.
If you are not satisfied with the Board’s decision, you can:
- File a new claim with your regional office.
- File a motion asking the Board to reconsider your appeal. (There is no time limit to file this motion.)
- File a motion asking the Board to review your appeal again because there was clear and obvious error in its decision. (There is no time limit to file this motion, but it cannot be filed until after the Board decision becomes final.)
- File a Notice of Appeal with the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC) within 120 days from the date of the decision by the Board (stamped on the first page of the decision)
How do I file a Notice of Appeal with the CAVC?
The How Do I Appeal? pamphlet provides additional details about the VA appeals process.