Veterans’ Affairs Benefits Appeal Process

If you disagree with a decision regarding your Veterans’ Affairs (VA) pension benefits, disability compensation, payment of medical expenses, or other benefits, you have a right to appeal that decision. You first file a written Notice of Disagreement (NOD) with the VA regional office. You have one year from the date of the decision to file your NOD. You then have two choices on what happens next. You can either request an informal hearing with the regional office or you can have a VA specialist who did not participate in the original decision take another look at the issues. This is called “de novo review.”

In response to your NOD, the VA will issue a Statement of the Case (SOC) after either the informal hearing or the de novo review. If you disagree with the SOC, you can appeal to the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA). You must file this appeal within 60 days of the SOC. You can request a hearing with the BVA. It currently takes several years from the NOD filing to get a decision from the BVA.

If you disagree with the decision of the BVA, you can file an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC) in Washington, D.C. You must file your notice of appeal within 120 days from the decision from the BVA.

Legal Editor: Kent Eiler, City Bar Justice Center

Changes may occur in this area of law. The information provided is brought to you as a public service with the help and assistance of volunteer legal editors, and is intended to help you better understand the law in general. It is not intended to be legal advice regarding your particular problem or to substitute for the advice of a lawyer.

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