The government shutdown of 2013 is obviously affecting Veterans Disability. There are plenty of places publishing information on what is affected and what it means for everyone. However, we know this shutdown won’t last forever or at least we hope it won’t-so we are going to continue to educate our readers about the VA disability process as a whole.
VA funding for claims processing and payments would run out late October under shutdown.
— Veterans Affairs (@DeptVetAffairs) September 30, 2013
One area that a lot of our Veterans are confused by is the Statement of the Case. (SOC) You can never have an SOC without first filing a claim, receiving a denial, and filing a Notice of Disagreement. Before we get the lowdown on the SOC, I’d like to point out where you will be at this point in the process. As far as time goes, you will likely be anywhere from 14-24 months into your case before you receive the SOC. From a frustration standpoint, you will be anywhere from slightly upset to extremely irritated. Full-blown anger does not come until you’ve been to the Board of Veterans Appeals.
Once the VA receives your Notice of Disagreement, your local office will prepare and mail to you a “Statement of the Case” (SOC). The Statement of the Case is an explanation detailing the rules, laws, evidence, and regulations used in deciding your claim and assigning your disability rate. It may take up to 24 months to receive this letter.
If you are satisfied with the explanations given in the SOC and no longer wish to pursue the appeal, you do not need to do anything.
However, if you wish to continue your appeal, you have three options:
It is very important to make a note of the date of the notification letter that comes with your statement of the case. All appeals must be requested within 60 days of the date printed on the notification letter that comes with your Statement of the Case. Or within 12 months of the date printed on your notification letter with your rating decision, whichever comes later.
If you would like to know how our attorneys and staff can help you navigate through the VA process, give us a call, 1-877-526-3457, or fill out our contact form now. To request a 100% free copy of our VA disability book, fill out this form.