When you receive a decision from your regional Veterans Affairs (VA) office regarding your veterans’ disability rating and benefits, you may not be pleased with the decision. Perhaps the VA did not understand the extent of your disability or maybe your request for disability was denied. If you believe an error was made when deciding your claim, you have the option of presenting your case in front of the Board of Veterans’ Appeals.
What You Should Know Before You File an Appeal
The Board of Veterans’ Appeals is established by federal law (38 United States Code (U.S.C.) § 7101(a)) to conduct hearings and decide appeals when disputes over veterans benefits arise.
Known as the BVA—or simply the Board—the Board of Veterans’ Appeals is made up of a panel of judges who are attorneys with experience in veterans’ law and claims review. While the BVA is located in Washington, DC, it is possible to meet with a board member at a regional VA office or through a video conferencing option. There are multiple locations available for video hearings across the country, and video hearings may speed up your appeals process.
In order to have your claim heard by the BVA, you must take specific steps to file an appeal. Specifically, you should:
- File a Notice of Disagreement with your local VA office. This should explain why you believe an error has been made.
- Complete a Substantive Appeal Form 9. This form will be sent to you by the VA office and must be completed in order for a personal hearing to be granted.
Appealing your veterans’ disability claim can be overwhelming and confusing, especially when you are also struggling to live with a disability. At Morgan & Weisbrod, our VA disability lawyers can help you navigate the process and represent you during your hearing. Contact us today to learn more.
by Paul B. Burkhalter Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.