A Notice of Disagreement (NOD) can be filed with the VA after you receive an initial decision on your claim. You can file a NOD if your application was denied, if you disagree with the percentage rating assigned to your disability, or if you want a different effective date for your disability.
When you file your NOD, there are two options. You can request the traditional appeal process where the person who originally reviewed your claim handles the appeal or ask for the Decision Review Officer process where the claim is moved to a higher level within the regional office for review by the DRO. In most cases, a DRO review is recommended.
How to File a Notice of Disagreement
To increase your chances of approval, remember the following tips when completing your NOD:
- Use the correct form. You can’t simply submit a statement to the VA that you disagree with the decision. You must use the form called VA 21-0958 Notice of Disagreement.
- Don’t wait. You have one year to submit your NOD. If you fail to submit within this timeframe, the VA’s decision becomes final. However, it’s best to submit the NOD as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the longer it will take to get a decision from the VA.
- Be specific. A NOD is more effective if you provide a specific reason why you disagree with the VA. This is one area where your attorney’s assistance is particularly valuable since VA disability law is quite complex. Your attorney can explain the procedural grounds that can form the basis of strong appeal.
- Include additional evidence. Including statements from medical professionals, the results of diagnostic tests, or other supporting evidence makes your appeal more persuasive. Your attorney can advise you on what evidence will be most effective in your case. When evidence is submitted with the NOD, your appeal can be reviewed when it comes up in the queue instead of being placed on hold while the VA waits for you to submit your evidence.
It’s in your best interest to speak to an experienced Veterans benefits attorney as soon as possible if you wish to file a NOD. Contact the office of Sean Kendall, Attorney-at-Law, to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation.