A Notice of Disagreement (NOD) is the first document related to an appeal of a Rating Decision issued by the VA. According to law, it is “a written communication from a claimant or his or her representative expressing dissatisfaction or disagreement with an adjudicative determination by the agency of original jurisdiction (VA Regional Office) and a desire to contest the result.” 38 C.F.R. § 20.201 (2012).
If you received a Rating Decision from the VA and your claim for PTSD, coronary artery disease (CAD) from Agent Orange exposure or traumatic brain injury (TBI) was denied, or VA granted service connection but you think you are entitled to a higher rating, filing an NOD is the next step in the process of getting the compensation you want.
VA regulations require that you file an NOD within one year of the date the VA Regional Office mailed its original decision on your claim. NODs are typically found on a VA Form 21-4138 (Statement in Support of Claim), or in a letter to the VA Regional Office. So you get one year to respond to the VA on your claim for PTSD, TBI or whatever claim it is that has left you unsatisfied.
After you send in your NOD, you may also request that your file be reviewed by a Decision Review Officer (DRO) from the local VA office. DROs offer a second review of your file and can provide you with a personal hearing at your request. If you are waiting to file your claims, understand that the claims process takes long enough on its own. In fact, in 2011 it took on average 257 days from the time the VA received an NOD to the time that it actually issued a response.
If you have been contemplating whether or not to file a claim or an appeal to your VA claims, call us at the Berry Law Firm (888) 883-2483. We are experts in filing appeals in these areas, along with many other areas, and we look forward to assisting you in getting the compensation you deserve for your veterans disability benefits claims.