Veteran benefits entitle a veteran to benefits for service-connected disabilities, survivor benefits and other benefits such as education payments and waiver of indebtedness. If you have been denied a claim, you can file an appeal to the Board of Veterans Appeals in Washington, DC. You have until either the later of 60 days from receipt of the Statement of the Case or within one year of the Notice of Action by the Regional Office denying the claim.

If you have been denied by the BVA, you must file your Notice of Appeal with the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims by mail or fax within 120 days after the date when the Board of Veterans Appeals mailed a copy of its final decision to you or your representative. The United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims is a national court of record, established under Article I of the Constitution of the United States. This Court has exclusive jurisdiction to provide judicial review of final decisions by the Board of Veterans’ Appeals, an entity within the Department of Veterans Affairs.

It would be in your best interest to seek legal advice or counsel from an attorney or you may represent yourself, BUT REMEMBER the VA will be represented by its attorneys. Keep in mind that your case may be better presented if you are represented by legal counsel. If a lawyer or other representative assists you with your appeal at the Court, he or she will:

  • Talk with Court staff and VA lawyers for you.
  • Prepare paperwork for the Court.
  • Review laws and regulations relating to your case.
  • Prepare written legal arguments about why the BVA decision was incorrect.
  • Ask the Court to hear an oral argument about your case.
  • Attend meetings about your case as necessary.
  • Keep you informed about the status of your appeal.