From here, after you file your NOD form, the nearest VA Office will begin their review of your file. Following the VA Office’s review, they will mail you a letter, named a Statement of the Case (“SOC”). The SOC indicates why your claim was denied. Next, for the third step, you may now file a Substantive Appeal (VA Form 9) if you disagree with the SOC. In doing this, your claim is appealed to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals. Please be aware that you only have one year from the original denial letter or 60 days from receiving the SOC letter; whichever is later. Additional instructions on this step are located on your SOC. Please also note that this Form, VA Form 9, is very difficult to fill out. For an ease of mind, it is important to retain an experienced disabilities attorney.
Finally, once you file your Substantive Appeal, your local VA Office will transfer your appeal to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals for their decision.