A U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) Form V-9, also known as a VA Form 9 or substantive appeal form, is labeled as an appeal to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals. The form is typically provided when the VA provides its Statement of Case (SOC) and allows a veteran to appeal the agency’s decision from the regional office to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals.
Filing a VA Form 9 can be challenging. Veterans must make sure to identify the exact issues they wish to appeal. Some SOC decisions can be difficult for veterans to accurately understand.
If you need assistance filing a VA Form 9, you need to get legal help now as it is a time sensitive matter. An experienced attorney can handle your claim for benefits and fight to help you get the benefits you deserve.
What Is the VA Form 9?
The VA Form 9 is typically a five-page document. The first page asks for a variety of information, including the name of the veteran, the claim file number, and the insurance file or loan number. When the person submitting the VA Form 9 is not the veteran, they must identify their relationship and provide their name.
Block 8 of the VA Form 9 is where the veteran identifies all issues that they want to appeal to the Board. Block 9 is where the veteran explains why they think the VA decided their case incorrectly. Block 10 denotes if a veteran requests an optional board hearing. Then there are spaces for the signatures of the veteran and any appointed representatives.
The second page is largely an empty space to be used of any continuation from Block 8 or Block 9. The remaining three pages are entirely information about the VA Form 9.
Block 8 and Block 9 are the two major areas of a VA Form 9 that a veteran needs to be particularly mindful of, as supporting evidence can be required for the claims made here.
How to File for Appeal of VA Disability Claim
In Block 10, the veteran is given four different boxes to check. The first box is for veterans who do not want optional board hearings. The form notes that this “often results in the Board issuing its decision most quickly.”
The other three boxes all indicate that a veteran wants an optional board hearing. The first box allows a veteran to request a hearing by live video-conference at a local VA office and the second allows them to request a hearing in Washington, D.C., both options the VA states “will add delay to issuance of a Board decision.” The third box to request a hearing at a local VA office includes a VA note that choosing this option will “add significant delay to issuance of a Board decision.”
A veteran must submit their VA Form 9 within the later of 60 days since the date that the VA mailed the SOC or within one year since the date that the Regional Office mailed a Notice of Disagreement. When you submit additional evidence and the VA issues a Supplemental Statement of Cases (SSOC), you will have only 30 days to file your VA Form 9.
How Long Is the Substantive Appeal Process?
There is no set timetable for VA Form 9 resolutions. Cases can vary depending on the unique circumstances involved.
A case usually begins with a veteran receiving a low disability or having their claim denied. The Notice of Disagreement will often be submitted by the veteran, and it can take up to 200 days for them to receive an SOC.
Hearings will usually be scheduled after certification to the Board, which can take up to one year. After certification to the Board, it may take up to another year before a Board decision is issued.
In some cases, the Board may send your case back to the VA Regional Office. Some cases may end up in the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, which could grant, deny, or remand a case to the Board of Veterans Appeals with specific recommendations to follow.
How Can Berry Law Firm Help Me?
Do you or your loved one need help with a VA Form 9? Contact the Berry Law Firm as soon as possible.
We can provide a thorough evaluation of your benefits claim and help you get the VA benefits you are entitled to. Call Berry Law at (888) 883-2483 or contact us online to schedule a free case evaluation.