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What is the Veterans Claims Appeals Process?

Once the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) denies your claim, you have several levels of appeals.

The Board of Veterans’ Appeals (BVA), which is located in Washington, D.C., reviews your appeal. These are the steps involved:

  1. NOD. To appeal you must first submit a Notice of Disagreement (NOD), which is simply a statement that you disagree with the finding. You have one year from the date when the claim denial was mailed to file an NOD.
  2. SOC. Next, the VA sends you a Statement of Case (SOC), which is its detailed report containing the evidence, regulations and laws the VA office considered when denying your claim.
  3. Form 9. Along with the SOC, you receive a Substantive Appeal Form (Form 9). Your attorney can help you fill out the Form 9. The form allows you to explain the mistakes in the SOC, describe the benefit you wish to receive and submit your request for a personal hearing. You can request a hearing with either a member of the local VA office or a member of the Board of Veterans’ Appeals.
  4. Hearing. During the hearing, your attorney can present additional evidence about your disability claim.
  5. Local or BVA review. If the BVA still denies your claim, you can ask the local office to reopen your claim or file a motion requesting the BVA review your case again and reconsider based on a clear and unmistakable error (CUE).
  6. U.S. courts of appeals. Your attorney also can file an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. Your attorney can appeal to higher courts, such as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court.
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  • Thank to Mr. Spencer I was able to get my VA disability claim re-reviewed and given another chance to receive disability. By far he is one of the most professional lawyers I have ever dealt with. So Veterans if you are looking for help with your VA disability claim I would suggest that you hire Macari, Russotto, Spencer, & Balaban. Thanks again for everything.

    — Alfred Daye

  • As a disabled veteran trying to navigate the complexities of the Veterans Administrations regulations, I turned to the law firm of Marcari, Russotto, Spencer and Balaban. They helped me understand what I needed to do and prepared and presented to the VA an excellent presentation of my case. I recommend them for your legal needs.

    — Harry Johnson

  • I was very satisfied with the excellent and professional manner the law firm handled my claim. I highly recommend any veteran who needs help with his or her claim to use Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban P.C. Special thanks to Mr Spencer for being very professional and courteous during the appeal process. Again Thanks to the entire firm for a job well done!

    — Luther Henderson

  • My husband & I highly recommend this law form to any veteran trying to navigate the endless red tape of the VA. We turned to Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban to handle my husband's appeal and could not have been happier. We enjoyed open and consistent communication regarding our case. Any questions we had were answered immediately.

    — Michele DeZayas

  • Amanda Medina-Morales was our point of contact and she kept us up to date on the progress of our case. It was a pleasure and relief knowing that someone truly competent and professional was handling this and fighting for us.

    — Michele DeZayas

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