A NOD is an official declaration that you believe the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) was wrong. You can file a NOD if you disagree with the entire decision or a portion of it (e.g., you are satisfied with your tinnitus rating, but believe you deserve a higher rating for your PTSD).
How You Submit a NOD
You file your NOD with the Agency of Original Jurisdiction (in most cases, this is your local regional office). Filing a NOD requires that you fill out Form 21-0958. You will receive this form when VA sends you its initial decision on your claim.
To fill out your NOD, you will need the following information:
- Your name and date of birth
- Your Social Security Number (you must include it on both pages of your NOD)
- Your VA file number
- Your address, phone number, and email address
You must note your “specific issue of disagreement” and the area of disagreement (e.g., service connection, your impairment rating, etc.)
You will also need to note whether you would like to receive calls or emails from a VA representative and whether you would like to have a Decision Review Officer (DRO) take a look at your claim or whether you would like to go through the traditional review process.
Make sure you sign and date your NOD. If you fail to do so, VA will send back your NOD and you will need to wait longer for a decision. A legal representative can help you fill out your NOD to ensure it is correct.
You must file your NOD within one year of the date on your decision.
DRO Review vs. Traditional Review
A Decision Review Officer (DRO) — a senior-level reviewer — looks over your original claim and any new evidence you wish to submit. You can request a hearing to discuss your case with a DRO face-to-face at your local regional office or via telephone. An attorney or other legal representative can represent you during this hearing.
You will not receive a decision at this hearing. You can expect a decision shortly after your hearing.
If the DRO feels VA made the correct decision in your case, it will issue you a Statement of the Case (SOC). The SOC will give you more information about the denial.
If the DRO grants benefits, it will issue a DRO decision.
In a traditional review, the person who initially reviewed your claim will look over it again.
The CCK Team Can Help You File a NOD
Filing a NOD incorrectly can jeopardize your claim. Call today to discuss your case: 800-544-9144. The initial consultation is always free.
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