Veterans have many options when it comes to a VA disability appeal. Whether you are unhappy with a decision from the Board of Veterans' Appeals or a higher level reviewer, you can file an appeal. However, before you go to a board hearing, you should consult with a lawyer. A VA-accredited attorney can help you decide whether or not to pursue an appeal.
First, you must file a Notice of Disagreement. This notice explains why you are not satisfied with the VA decision. You also need to state your intent to appeal. If you do not submit a notice within the time limit, your claim will automatically be sent to the board. If you do not want to wait, you can request a personal hearing on this web. This type of hearing is fairly informal and can give you a chance to explain your case.
Once you have a notice of disagreement, you need to prepare evidence to support your claim. You can upload your evidence online using the QuickSubmit application. The new VA process includes a shorter timeline, which means that you can receive a final decision in a year or less. It is important to have all of your evidence ready, as it is heavily relied upon by the board.
The VA also allows veterans to submit supplemental claims with new evidence. This new evidence can be submitted up to one year after the initial claim denial. The VA will then consider the evidence to determine if the claim is still valid. If the evidence is deemed insufficient, the board will not accept the new evidence.
Alternatively, you can request a hearing with the VA Board of Appeals. If you request a hearing, you can expect to spend about 30 minutes in a meeting. At the hearing, you will answer questions from the judge and explain your reasons for pursuing an appeal. The Board of Appeals is scheduled to hear 10 cases per day. It typically takes about 18 months for the board to make a decision. If you do not agree with the outcome, you can then appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.
If the claimant has additional evidence, they can submit that to the Board of Veterans' Appeals as a supplemental claim. The VA will only consider the evidence that it reviewed in the initial claim denial. If you choose this route, the new evidence must be accompanied by a Statement of the Case. This is a detailed description of your claim and includes the reasons for the denial.
Once the board makes its decision, you can then appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. You must complete a form, which contains your name and the number of your Department of Veterans Affairs file. If you have financial difficulties, you can also request to have your appeal reviewed faster.
VA has changed its process for disability appeals, which can be complex. It is important to have all of your questions answered before proceeding with an appeal. The VA has created a helpful interactive tool that provides a rough estimate of how long it will take to appeal.