SOC Legal Definition
A SOC, or Statement of the Case, is the document you receive after you file a Notice of Disagreement with a rating decision from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). According to VA, the SOC helps the veteran “prepare an effective substantive appeal with specific allegations of errors of fact or law.”
What You Can Expect from a SOC
The SOC will explain VA’s decision on your claim. It will include the evidence VA used to make its decision, any laws or regulations it referenced when making its decision, the decision itself, and why it made the decision.
SOC for a Full Denial
For example, you submitted a claim for post-traumatic stress disorder. VA deemed that while you have a valid diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), you did not establish that it resulted from a specific event that occurred during your military service. The SOC will inform you of the denial and explain VA’s reasoning for the denial.
SOC for a Partial Denial
VA will also issue a SOC for a “partial denial.” For example, you file a claim for PTSD, a right knee disability, and a low back condition. VA grants your claim for your right knee and low back, but denies your claim for PTSD. Importantly, VA will issue a separate Rating Decision granting your knee and back claims, and will issue an SOC denying your PTSD claim.
Once you receive your SOC, you must file a VA Form 9 within 60 days of the date VA issued its decision. If you fail to do so within this time, VA will close your appeal and the SOC decision will become final.
Statement of the Case vs. Supplemental Statement of the Case
As we discussed above, a Statement of the Case is the procedural document you receive after you file a Notice of Disagreement if the VA continues its denial.
VA issues a Supplemental Statement of the Case (SSOC), however, if you submitted new evidence when you filed your VA Form 9 and VA continues its denial. Let us revisit our example above. VA continues to deny your claim for PTSD. You submit a VA Form 9 with lay evidence explaining how your PTSD is related to service. If VA upholds its denial, it will issue you a Supplemental Statement of the Case.
After receiving a Supplemental Statement of the Case, you have the option to respond with additional argument and evidence. However, this response must be submitted within 30 days of the date VA issued the SSOC.
Get Help from a Veterans’ Disability Attorney Today: 800-544-9144
If you were denied VA disability benefits, the team of veterans lawyers at Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD may be able to help you file an appeal. Call today for a free case evaluation: 800-544-9144.
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