If you have any questions about the filing deadline in your case, ask your representative or your local VA office. Filing on time is very important. Failing to file on time could result in you losing your right to appeal.
5.WHAT IF I NEED MORE TIME? If you need more time to complete this form and file it, write to the address included on your SOC, explaining why you need more time. You must file your request for more time before the normal time for filing this form runs out. If you file by mail, VA will use the postmark date to decide whether you filed the form, or the request for more time to file it, on time.
6.WHAT KIND OF INFORMATION DO I NEED TO INCLUDE WHEN I FILL OUT THE FORM? While most of the form is easy to understand, please refer to the sections below for additional information regarding each block.
Block 3. If your appeal involves an insurance claim or some issue related to a VA home loan, enter your VA insurance or VA loan number here. For most kinds of cases, you will leave this block blank.
Blocks 4-7. These blocks are for information about the person who is filing this appeal. If you are a representative filling out this form for the person filing the appeal, fill in the information about that person, not yourself. Block 7 can be left blank if the person filing the appeal is the Veteran.
Block 8. This is the block where you tell us exactly what you are appealing. You do this by identifying the "issues" you are appealing. Your local VA office has tried to accurately identify the issues and has listed them on the SOC and any SSOC it sent you. Save what you want to tell us about why you are appealing for the next block (Block 9).
Check the first check box in Block 8 if you only want to continue your appeal on some of the issues listed on the SOC and any SSOC you received. List the specific issues you want to appeal in the space under the first box. While you should not use this form to file a new claim or to appeal new issues for the first time, you can also use this space to call the Board's attention to issues, if any, you told your local VA office in your Notice of Disagreement you wanted to appeal that are not included in the SOC or any SSOC. If you want to file a new claim, or appeal new issues (file a new Notice of Disagreement), do that in separate correspondence. Do not check the second box if you check this box.
If you think that your local VA office has correctly identified the issues you are appealing and, after reading the SOC and any SSOC you received, you still want to appeal its decisions on all those issues, check the second box in Block 8. Do not check the first box if you check this box.
Block 9. Use this block to tell us why you disagree with the decision made by your local VA office. Tie your arguments to the issues you identified in Block 8. Tell us what facts you think VA got wrong and/or how you think VA misapplied the law in your case. Try to be specific. If you are appealing a rating percentage your local VA office assigned for one or more of your service-connected disabilities, tell us for each service-connected disability rating you have appealed what rating would satisfy your appeal (The SOC, or SSOC, includes information about what disability percentages can be assigned for each disability under VA's "Rating Schedule.") You may want to refer to the specific items of evidence that you feel support your appeal, but you do not have to describe all of the evidence you have submitted. The Board will have your complete file when it considers your case. You should not attach copies of evidence you have already sent to VA.
In completing this block, please also let us know if there is any additional evidence that you feel needs to be obtained to support your appeal. You may either submit this evidence along with this response, or at a minimum notify VA of its existence so that the evidence can be obtained on your behalf.
If you need more space to complete Block 9, you can continue it on the back of the form and/or you can attach sheets of paper to the form. If you want to complete this part of the form using a computer word-processor, you may do so. Just attach the sheets from your printer to the form and write "see attachment" in Block 9.
Block 10. It is very important for you to check one, and only one, of the boxes in Block 10. This lets us know whether or not you want to appear at a Board hearing and, if so, where you want to appear. Please keep in mind that a Board hearing is entirely optional, and it is not necessary for you to have a hearing for the Board to decide your appeal. Hearings often increase wait time for a Board decision. If you do not check any of the boxes, the Board will assume that you DO NOT want a Board hearing and your case will be decided taking into consideration the arguments already made, including your explanation on this form as to why you think VA decided your case incorrectly.
If you ask for a Board hearing, you and your representative (if you have one) can tell us why you think the Board should act favorably on your appeal (present argument). You can also tell us about the facts behind your claim and you can bring others (witnesses) to the hearing who have information to give the Board about your case. At your option, you can submit more evidence at a Board hearing. If you do ask for a Board hearing, it can be very helpful to have a representative assist you at the hearing. Please note that VA cannot pay any expenses that you (or your representative or witnesses) incur in connection with attending any Board hearing.
The purpose of a hearing is to receive argument and testimony relevant and material to the issue or issues in your case that are on appeal. Hearings conducted by the Board are nonadversarial in nature. Parties to a hearing are permitted to ask questions, including follow-up questions, but cross-examination is not allowed. While the types of questions that may be asked are not limited by the legal rules of evidence that typically apply in an adversarial trial setting, reasonable bounds of relevancy and materiality still must be maintained.