After serving time in the United States Military, you now find yourself disabled and in need of benefits. Unfortunately, when you receive the rating decision back after applying for benefits with the VA office in Dallas, the results are not what you were hoping for. When this happens, you have the option to file a Notice of Disagreement within one year of the date of the original decision. After reviewing your Notice of Disagreement, the Texas VA office will create a “Statement of the Case.” You may be asking yourself what this entails. The following is a helpful overview.
What is a Statement of the Case?
A Statement of the Case is a detailed explanation of the evidence, laws, and regulations that the Texas VA office used when making a decision about your claim for benefits. This document should be used to help you prepare an effective substantive appeal relating to your claim. The Statement of the Case is designed to provide you with a complete understanding as to how the decision on your claim was reached. Therefore, you can prepare your appeal using specific allegations of errors of fact or law.
Who will send me the Statement of the Case?
You will receive a Statement of the Case from the Texas VA office. It will be mailed to you along with a VA Form 9. This form is also known as the Substantive Appeal Form.
What is the VA Form 9?
This form represents the last step in the appeal process. By completing the form and mailing it back to the Texas VA Office, you are completing the appeal process. Within the Form, you will state the benefit that you are seeking, the mistakes that you found in the Statement of the Case, and whether you want a personal hearing. The Form is then mailed back to the local VA office within 60 days of the date that they mailed you your Statement of the Case, or within one year of the date that they mailed you the original decision on your claim, whichever date is later.
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by Paul B. Burkhalter Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.