Veterans Affairs Appeal Process

The Military works hard everyday to ensure our country remains safe. Unfortunately, many veterans have been injured or disabled due to their service. It is a harsh reality that there are valued veterans that struggle to provide for themselves financially.


Veterans are entitled to specific benefits provided by the government through the Department of Veterans Affairs, also know as the VA. If you are a veteran, you probably know about these specials benefits. Maybe you do not know how to go about the process to obtaining these benefits that you have earned. Perhaps you have applied for these benefits, but you have been denied.


Veterans can often be denied these Veteran Affairs benefits for a multitude of reasons. When a claim is denied, it causes frustration and confusion. If you have been denied benefits and you believe that the decision was invalid or unjust, you have the option to appeal your case.


Veteran Affairs Claims Denial

There are a couple major reasons that a claim can be denied. The Veterans Affairs office can have cause to believe that the injuries or disabilities were not caused during the veteran’s military service. If it is evident that the disability was caused during military service, the VA office may not believe that it is as severe as the veteran claims it to be. However, as a veteran, you have the right to appeal your case.


Veterans Affairs Appeal Process

The Veterans Affairs appeal process is very complex and can be confusing when you are unfamiliar with the criteria. The appeal is a request that a veteran can apply for at their local Veteran Affairs office. When you file this appeal, the office is obligated by law to thoroughly look into your claim. If the evidence is in your favor, they can then approve your claim.


Take Necessary Steps

It is important to file your claim as soon as possible from the date that you receive the letter of denial, as you have only one year from the day the letter has been sent to you to to make your appeal. There are necessary steps you will need to follow to begin the appeal process. The VA should supply you with the information regarding the process, but here are a few things that may help to get you started.


Notice of Disagreement

The veteran must begin the VA appeal process by first filing a Notice of Disagreement, or a NOD, with the Department of Veteran Affairs. The document you need to begin this is VA form 21-0958.


On this NOD form, You will state that you disagree with the denial and you would like to make an appeal. You do not need to go into any details on this form, as you may forget something that may be used against you later. You can always provide the necessary documents to back up your claim, but it is best to keep the NOD simple and provide the specific details later. You should include the following information on the NOD:

● The date of the denial letter.

● The decisions of which you disagree.

● Your intent to appeal.

Again, keep the information simple and concrete. It is good to include that you will provide further details later. This way you will have the opportunity to present all of your concerns and evidence later.


Decision Review Officer

You should be asked if you would like your appeal to be reviewed by a Decision Review Officer, or a DRO, prior to it being sent directly to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals. A DRO is a highly experience VA claims examiner who has the power to change the VA’s initial decision.


It is recommended that you have your claim reviewed by the DRO. The results should be faster. There is also a higher success rate when you have the DRO review. If the DRO denies the appeal, you will still have the option to request an appeal to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals.



The VA office will ask you to provide documentation to support your case. These documents will vary. It is beneficial for you to be informed regarding all of the necessary evidence you will need for your appeal.


The Veteran Affairs appeal process is not limited to what is found on this page. There may be additional information that will help you during your process. It is beneficial for you to seek professional legal help for assistance with your case.


The VA appeal process can be long and difficult. It is advised that you consult with an attorney. They can assist you during the entire Veteran Affairs appeal process. They are aware of all of the necessary information that you will need for your case to be successful. A lawyer has valuable experience and knowledge that they will use to help you get the benefits that you deserve.