Reprinted with permission from Administrative and Regulatory Law News, Spring 2018 (43:3) at 6-7. ©2018 by the American Bar Association. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved. This information or any or portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association.
For over 50 years, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has handled appeals of veterans benefits decisions under a one-size-fits-all system. A claimant who disagrees with the initial decision of the Regional Office files a notice of disagreement (NOD) to start the appeal process. If VA continues to deny the claim after the NOD is filed, it will issue a statement of the case (SOC). The claimant has at least 60 days from the issuance of an SOC to perfect the appeal by filing a VA Form 9. The case then proceeds to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (Board), where it undergoes de novo review. If the Board issues a final decision, the claimant can then appeal to the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC).