VA Form 9 Process
After submitting the NOD you will be asked to choose between the appeal to a decision review officer (DRO) or to the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA). One of the events below can follow your decision:
- When you request a DRO review, the VA asks you to provide more information about the issues you want to have reviewed and schedule a hearing. If the DRO denies the claim, they will send you the Statement in Support of Claim (SOC), and you will have to proceed to file the VA 9 Form within 60 days after the SOC has been mailed to file a formal appeal;
- When you request a BVA appeal, the VA will send you a document with a summary of the reasons to deny your claim. The process won't proceed quickly - it takes a couple of months. Once you receive your statement of case, file and submit your VA Form 9 to transfer your case to the BVA. The BVA will provide further instructions.
A hearing with a BVA member may lead to several different resolutions:
- The requested benefits are granted;
- The requested benefits are denied; and
- The case is remanded back down to a local VA office.
VA Form 9 Instructions
There are three main things to know before starting to fill out the form:
- What to include. The form should contain specific arguments relating to errors of fact or law. That means that the statement should contain the benefits the veteran is seeking and the information about the mistakes within the Regional Office's decision. The BVA usually takes the veteran's side, but a claim that doesn't provide a specific description of the error can be dismissed.
- Where to file. The form must proceed with the Regional Office (or RO) that originally issued the decision the veteran is appealing.
- When to file. The form has to be completed within 60 days of the date the SOC has been mailed, or within one year from the date, the RO mailed their notice of the decision to the veteran. If you are able to show a good reason, the period when the form should be filed can be extended. In this case, if new evidence is presented to the RO during the appeal period and the RO sends a Supplemental Statement of the Case, you will have a new 60-day period to file.
If the time requirements are not followed and not extended, the BVA will inform you that your claim is dismissed. Thereafter, during the next 60 days, you may argue that the appeal has been sent in time and has met all the requirements.
In addition, the VA Form 9 asks to specify if you wish to have a hearing. There are three types of hearings in total:
- A Travel Boarding Hearing - an in-person local hearing by the Veterans Law Judge in the Regional Office.
- A Hearing in Washington, D.C. - a hearing held in Washington at the BVA before the judge assigned to your case.
- A videoconference hearing - you testify at the local RO via a videoconference.
How to Fill out VA Form 9?
- Block 3 is left blank, but if your appeal contains an insurance claim or something related to a VA home loan, this is the place to enter that information.
- Blocks 4 through 7 contain information about the claimant.
- Block 8 is the place to state what exactly you are appealing without specifying the reasons.
- Block 9 should be used to list the reasons why you disagree with the decision. The arguments should be related to the issues in Block 8.
- Block 10 contains several boxes made for specifying whether or not you want to attend a board hearing and if so - where. A board hearing is entirely optional and usually increases the wait time for a board decision. If you leave the boxes blank, the board will assume that you do not wish for a hearing.
- Blocks 11 and 12 require the signature of a claimant or a fiduciary. If the document is being filled by a representative, the blocks can be left blank.
- Blocks 13 and 14 provide the space for the signature of the representative.
Where to Send VA Form 9?
You will receive the instructions where to send the completed, signed and dated form with your SOC.