So you feel like you have been waiting an eternity for a grant on your disability, and now you have finally received a decision in the mail. At this point you have had a hearing with a Decision Review Officer (DRO) at your VA Regional Office and are wondering anxiously about what they have decided. Most likely, the decision you just received is either a Rating Decision or Supplemental Statement of the Case. I would like to discuss with you the importance of a Supplemental Statement of the Case and what it means to you.
A Supplemental Statement of the Case (SSOC) is a decision that comes after a Statement of the Case (SOC) and a VA Form 9 has been filed on the SOC. At our office, when we file a VA Form 9, we request a hearing with a DRO, if the client has not had one yet on the issue(s), as well as a hearing with the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA). (You can also find our bloggers discussing in more detail VA Form 9s and SOC’ on our site). Once a decision has been made on the appealed issues, the SSOC is rendered. Like all other decisions, the SSOC will discuss the issues at hand and how the VA determines service connection and/or increases for them. Near the end, you will eventually find the decision the DRO has made and his/her reasoning for it.
Now, you might be wondering what the next step is. This is the part when things can get a little confusing. If a VA Form 9 was already filed on all of the issues on the SOC that was received prior to the SSOC, then an appeal is not needed. The file will automatically be sent to the BVA for further reviewing and another hearing will be held with a BVA judge, if requested. If you aren’t sure if you requested a BVA hearing on it and want to go to one, then re-file the VA Form 9. It is better to be safe than sorry in this case because you only have 30 days to file an appeal on the SSOC. If you are satisfied with your claims then it is important to notify the VA that you wish to close your claims or else your file will still be sent to the BVA for review. SSOCs and VA Form 9s can be very confusing. However, our team at Jan Dils Attorneys at Law would be more than happy to help you better understand the process and file the correct paperwork. So please visit us at www.Fight4Vets.com or call us as 1-877-VETERAN.