The Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA) is a step within VA’s appellate process. Before you get to the BVA, you must file an initial application for benefits and receive a rating decision. This decision will determine whether your disabilities are service-connected. Service-connected disabilities will be given a percent rating.
How does the VA appeals process start?
Many veterans disagree with VA’s rating decision for one reason or another. Initially, the rating decision is appealed by filing a notice of disagreement. If you want to find out more information about filing a notice of disagreement and the original steps in the appeals process, you may find our article about Decision Review Officer (DRO) appeals helpful.
How do I appeal to the Board of Veterans Appeals?
Once you go through the DRO appeal or traditional appeal process, you will receive a new rating decision or a Statement of the Case (SOC). You have reached the point where you can appeal to the BVA. You have 60 days from the statement of the case notice letter or from the rating decision notice letter to file an appeal. The appeal must be filed on a VA Form 9.
Some time (probably long after) you file your VA Form 9, VA will send you a letter notifying you that your file has been sent to the Board of Veterans Appeals. Read this letter carefully. It should notify you that you have 90 days to request a hearing before BVA and/or submit additional evidence in support of your claim.
How should I approach an appeal to the BVA?
There are many important factors to consider in appealing a VA decision. With BVA appeals, you have to consider:
- Whether to request a hearing with the BVA
- Whether to submit additional evidence and what evidence you should submit
- The deadlines for filing an appeal, submitting additional evidence, and requesting a hearing
Many veterans find it very helpful to have legal representation on a VA appeal. Our firm has two attorneys accredited to represent veterans in claims and appeals before VA. They provide free consultations about your case. If you hire us, you only pay us if we are successful in representing you. Also, if you do pay us, it is only a percentage of the back due benefits.
What happens when the Board of Veterans Appeals decides my appeal?
BVA will then make a decision on your appeal. This decision can grant your request, deny your request, or remand your request to the VA Regional Office with instructions. If your claim is granted, the Regional Office should issue a rating decision. If your claim is denied, you have the option of appealing further to the Court of Appeals for Veterans’ Claims (CAVC). If you are going to appeal to CAVC, you need to act quickly because there are time limits for filing an appeal.
If you have questions about your case or would like to consider getting help, the best thing to do is to get a free consultation. You can set one up by calling the phone number or completing the “Need Help” form on the right side of this page.