Understanding the VA Claims Process

Veterans Disability Application in an EnvelopeDisabled veterans are entitled to receive benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

The VA Claims Process

The VA claims process involves four basic steps. The following is an overview:

Filing your claim

If you file your disability claim on the eBenefits website, you should be notified that your request for benefits has been received within one hour of applying. If you apply by mail, you should get a letter acknowledging receipt of your claim within two weeks. Your claim will be reviewed to determine if any information is missing, and the VA will then contact the relevant parties to collect that documentation. Once all of the evidence has been received and reviewed, a disability rating decision will be made. The disability rating assigns a disability percentage to you. You will then receive a claim decision packet that tells you which of your claims were granted, your disability rating, and the start date for the payment of benefits.

Filing a Notice of Disagreement

If you are satisfied with the disability rating decision, you don't need to take any further action. However, you have the right to appeal if you aren’t happy with the outcome. You have one year from the date of the VA notification letter to appeal a claims decision, and you may start this process by filing a Notice of Disagreement. You can mail this completed form to the address found on your VA claim decision notice letter, or drop it off at your local regional office.

Filing VA Form 9

A Decision Review Officer will examine all of the evidence related to your appeal before either granting or denying your request. Should the Decision Review Officer determine that the evidence you’ve provided is insufficient, you will receive notification of this decision via a document called the Statement of the Case. If you wish to continue your appeal, you may complete and return VA Form 9 within 60 days. You will receive this form in the mail with the Statement of the Case.

Filing a Notice of Appeal

The Board of Veterans’ Appeals will review your appeal and make a decision. If you disagree with the Board’s conclusions, you may file a Notice of Appeal with the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims within 120 days. You may choose to represent yourself, or hire a VA-accredited attorney to represent you.

Help With Your VA Disability Claim

The VA claims process is complex, and it sometimes involves a long, complicated string of appeals. If you need assistance with your disability claim, an experienced disability attorney can guide you through the process and help you receive the compensation you deserve. Call us today or complete the contact form on this page.


Joshua Worley
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Roswell, NM Social Security and Veterans Disability Lawyer
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