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Manage a legacy VA appeal

This page applies to appeals for decisions dated before February 19, 2019. New appeals are no longer accepted through this legacy process.

How to appeal a VA claim decision

We changed to a new process on February 19, 2019. Which process applies to you depends on the date of your claim decision. 

For decisions dated on or after February 19, 2019

You need to use the new decision review process. Learn how  to request a decision review 

For decisions dated before February 19, 2019

If you’re already in the middle of appealing a decision dated before February 19, 2019, the legacy appeals process (an appeal using our old process) is described below. There are 2 steps in the legacy appeals process when you can opt in to the new decision review process or continue your appeal with the legacy process.
 

How long does it take VA to make a decision?

It depends. The Veterans Benefits Administration usually takes 12-18 months to review new appeals and decide whether to grant some or all of the appeal.

When you request a review from a Veterans Law Judge at the Board of Veterans’ Appeals, it could take 5-7 years for you to get a decision.

 

A legacy appeal follows these steps

Note: New appeals are no longer accepted through the legacy process.

  1. File a Notice of Disagreement (NOD)

    For old decisions, you had to have filed a Notice of Disagreement within one year of the date on your claim decision letter. New appeals are no longer accepted using this legacy appeals process.

    For new disagreements with decisions dated before February 19, 2019, you'll need to file a Supplemental Claim. For disagreements with decisions dated February 19, 2019, or later, you'll need to use the new decision review process.

  2. We send you a Statement of the Case (SOC)

    After you file your Notice of Disagreement, we review all the evidence related to your appeal, including any new evidence you sent. If we determine that there wasn’t enough evidence to fully grant your appeal, we send you our findings in a document called a Statement of the Case (or "SOC").

  3. If you disagree with our Statement of the Case (SOC)

    Note: At this step you may be able to opt in to the new decision review process.

    For a Statement of the Case dated before February 19, 2019, you must continue with this legacy appeals process.
    Return VA Form 9 (PDF) to the Board of Veterans' Appeals within 60 days from the date on the Statement of the Case to continue your appeal. 

    For a Statement of the Case dated on or after February 19, 2019, you have 2 options.

    • You can continue the legacy appeals process.
      Return VA Form 9 (PDF) to the Board of Veterans' Appeals within 60 days from the date on the Statement of the Case. 
    • Or opt in to the new decision review process.
      You have 60 days from the date on the Statement of the Case to opt in to the new decision review process. The remaining legacy appeals steps don’t apply if you opt in to the new process.
  4. The Veterans Benefits Administration prepares a Supplemental Statement of the Case (SSOC) (optional) 

    You can submit new evidence for your appeal at any time in the process. If you submit new evidence after you receive a Statement of the Case, we may need to prepare a Supplemental Statement of the Case before sending your case to the Board of Veterans' Appeals. 

    Note: At this step you may be able to opt in to the new decision review process.

    For a Supplemental Statement of the Case dated on or after February 19, 2019, you have 2 options.

    • You can continue the legacy appeals process.
      Go to step 5.
    • Or opt in to the new decision review process.
      You have 60 days from the date on the Supplemental Statement of the Case to opt in to the new decision review process. The remaining legacy appeals steps don’t apply if you opt in to the new process.
  5. Your appeal is sent to the Board

    We finish the review and send your case to the Board of Veterans' Appeals. The Board reviews cases in the order they’re received according to the date on your VA Form 9. A Veterans Law Judge will begin work on your appeal when it’s among the oldest appeals ready for their review. 

    Note: If you find new evidence after your case has been sent to the Board, you must submit that evidence directly to the Board of Veterans' Appeals.

  6. Request to have your appeal advanced on the docket (optional)

    If you suffer from a serious illness, are in financial distress, or have other sufficient cause (a reason for needing your appeal reviewed sooner), you can request the “Advanced on Docket” status for your appeal. 

    Advanced on Docket appeals are prioritized so they’re always at the front of the line. If you’re over 75 years old, your appeal will receive this status automatically.

    Learn how to request the Advanced on Docket status

  7. You have a hearing (optional)

    You have the option to request a hearing with a Veterans Law Judge. At your hearing, the judge will ask you questions about your appeal. A transcript of your hearing will be made and added to your appeal file. The judge won’t make a decision about your appeal at the hearing.

    Learn more about hearings at the Board

  8. The Board makes its decision

    The Board reviews your appeal and provides a decision on each issue in your appeal. The Board decides each issue in 1 of 3 ways:

    • Allowed: The Board grants benefits.
    • Remanded: The Board needs more evidence to make a decision and returns your appeal to the Veterans Benefits Administration. After the Veterans Benefits Administration gets the requested evidence, it’ll then make a new decision on the appeal. If the Veterans Benefits Administration can’t grant all or part of your appeal, it’ll prepare a new Supplemental Statement of the Case and return the appeal to the Board.
    • Denied: The Board doesn’t grant benefits.

What if I disagree with the Board’s decision?

If you disagree with the Board’s decision, you can appeal to the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. You’ll need to hire a VA-accredited attorney to represent you, or you may represent yourself. You’ll need to file your Court appeal within 120 days of the Board’s decision. Learn how to file a Court appeal

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