Learn About The Education Benefits Appeal Process
Applicants should know how to appeal a decision regarding veterans education benefits, even if a veteran's specific case never requires an appeal. Generally, the VA education benefits appeal process will begin when a veteran receives a denial letter for their claim. Veterans education and training benefits appeal process can be simple depending on the reason for the denial. Once the denial letter arrives, the applicant should review all of the reasons for denial to find out if the VA needs more information or evidence. Applicants will need to know what paperwork to send to the VA to initiate an appeal claim. For more information on the veterans education program eligibility appeal process and what to do, the following topics are available:
- How to start an appeal
- Appeal process
How to Start an Appeal
The best way to start the veterans education and training benefits appeal process is to first decide if the claim stands a chance in an appeal case. In most cases, a VA education and training claim appeal is just furnishing required evidence such as the death certificate of the service member. It is vital that applicants initiate the veterans education program eligibility appeal process in a timely manner, as veterans who fail to submit an appeal by the deadline will have missed their opportunity. Veterans who receive denial letters only have one year from the date on the rejection letter to file an appeal. If the veteran fails to submit a VA education and training claim appeal before the year is up, then the VA's decision on the matter is final. For this reason, applicants must review the letter to discover the reasons for the denial. The veteran should begin a VA education and training claim appeal by writing of a Notice of Disagreement letter to the VA, if he or she disagrees with the reasons for denial. The applicant may only disagree with a portion of decision, such as the payment rate.
The formal VA education benefits appeal process begins once the VA files the veteran's Notice of Disagreement. The VA education and training claim appeal is under the review of a committee that will either allow the appeal or instead mail back a Statement of the Case. If during the veterans education program eligibility appeal process applicants receive a Statement of the Case it will detail all of the evidence the VA had for denying the claim. Applicants can find out the reason for VA benefit denial by reading the facts, regulations, laws and reasons aiding the outcome of the decision. The VA will also send back a VA Form 9 to the applicant in case they wish to take the appeal up with the Board of Veterans' Appeals. If an applicant chooses to continue with the VA education benefits appeal process, then they must complete the form and submit it to the VA before the one-year deadline mentioned in the denial letter, or 60 days from the day the local VA office send the Statement of the Case, whichever date is later.
In addition to filling out the VA education and training claim appeal form, the applicant also has the option of requesting a board hearing. However, most hearings that include a board will be lengthy, as the board deliberates the decision. Board hearings are optional but some veteran's prefer to have another party reviewing the case and giving their input on the matter. During the veterans education program eligibility appeal process, an applicant is allowed to have legal representation. The VA has an attorney-at-law to assist all applicants with the process, though while filing a veterans education and training benefits appeal process representation is not necessary. If an applicant decides legal representation is the best course of action, there is a list of available representatives online. Depending on the legal representation an applicant selects, there may or may not be fees associated with the services provided. If an applicant selects VA education and training claim appeal assistance with someone from the Veterans Service Organization, there will be small fees included. Attorneys not working for the VSO decide if a case will include fees or not, depending on the circumstances.
Evidence is an important part of how to appeal a decision regarding veterans education benefits case with the VA. With the VA education and training claim appeal, the applicants should submit additional requested evidence. In fact, throughout the veterans education and training benefits appeal process petitioners should continue to furnish evidence until a decision is made. If applicants do not know what evidence is necessary during a VA claim appeal, they can refer to the Statement of the Case letter or ask a VA agent directly.
The board or local VA will review submitted evidence. The criteria for evidence in the veterans education program eligibility appeal process is that the VA cannot have seen it before and it is only relevant to the claim on hand. Applicants can submit required evidence in writing or by provided it in person at the personal hearing. If an applicant chooses to submit their evidence for the VA education and training claim appeal in writing, they may send any written statements or documents along with a section in the letter of how this evidence should change the earlier decision. If the applicant instead decides to provide documentation at the hearing, then they must request a hearing with someone from the VA. This will allow the petitioner to speak, bring in witnesses or hand in written evidence. Another option for the VA education benefits appeal process is to have a local hearing, though this option requires a letter sent to the VA to request the hearing. Once the VA accepts the request for the VA education and training claim appeal, the VA will arrange everything and at the hearing will review the evidence presented and document the hearing with a written record.
Once the applicant submits all evidence for the veterans education program eligibility appeal process, the VA will review all forms of evidence including any local hearing records, should they apply. After review of all relevant documents in detail, the board will then decide to grant or reject the VA education and training claim appeal. If the board denies the claim despite the VA education and training claim appeal, the applicant can find out how to make a VA claim appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims by requesting the board forward the case.