I’m filing a Notice of Disagreement (NOD) letter to start the appeal process on an unfavorable veterans’ disability claim determination. My understanding is that once the VA receives my NOD, I’ll probably be sent a Statement of the Case (SOC) in return. What is a SOC and how long will it take to get one?

It’s true that many veterans will receive a Statement of the Case (SOC) at least once in the claims process, but it isn’t inevitable and it doesn’t mean that you won’t ever get the veterans’ disability benefits that you deserve.

Typically, when the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) receives a valid Notice of Disagreement (NOD) from a veteran, the prior determination is reviewed for any obvious legal or factual errors. If errors are found, they are investigated so that a new determination can be made.

If no errors are found or the claim is still denied, the VA will complete a Statement of the Case (SOC) and send it to you and your legal representative. This can take several months.

What’s Included in the Statement of the Case

Essentially, the SOC is a detailed summary of the activity on your claim to that point. It will include:

  • A comprehensive list of all evidence—such as service records, medical records, testimony, and employment history—taken under consideration while determining your claim
  • An explanation of the laws and regulations used in making the determination
  • The VA’s determination
  • An explanation of the VA’s determination process

What to Do After Receiving a Statement of the Case

After receiving an SOC, you’ll have either 60 days or the remainder of the one-year period you are given to file an NOD—whichever provides more time—to file a substantive appeal. If you miss this deadline, you’ll need to reopen the claim.

Thus, if you receive an SOC, you need to take action. We may be able to help you. Please contact our experienced veterans’ disability attorneys today via this website or by phone to learn more.

Carl M. Weisbrod
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Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law