How to File an Appeal for Veterans Claims

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Q: How do I file an appeal with the US Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims?

 

A: You have 120 days from the mailing date of your final BVA decision to file an appeal. The Court cannot usually extend this time, so do not delay!

  • You can only appeal a final BVA decision that denied some or all of your requests for benefits.
  • Go to the Court’s website.
  • Complete the Court’s Form 1 (Notice of Appeal) and send it to the Court. See additional information below regarding mailing of Notice of Appeal.
  • Submit the one-time $50 fee to file, OR ask the Court to waive the fee by filing the Court’s Form 4 (Declaration of Financial Hardship).
    • You can download these forms from the Court’s website at www.uscourts.cavc.gov; you can request them from the court at the address below; or the Pro Bono Program can send them to you.
  • You do not need a lawyer to file the appeal.

If time is running out and you cannot get these forms, you may simply print your name, current address, and telephone number on a piece of paper and write: “I want to appeal my BVA decision dated ___________.” Then sign your name.

Don’t forget the 120-day deadline for filing. Mail, hand deliver, or fax the completed form(s) or your letter to:

Clerk of Court
US Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims
625 Indiana Avenue, N.W., Suite 900
Washington, DC 20004
P (202) 501-5970
FAX (202) 501-5848 *

* If the Appeal is faxed to the Court, you must contact the Court to confirm that the Notice of Appeal is received.  The Court is not responsible for faxed, but unconfirmed, Notices of Appeal.

SEND YOUR NOTICE OF APPEAL FORM DIRECTLY TO THE COURT.  DO NOT SEND IT TO THE VA OR THE PRO BONO PROGRAM!

  • NOTE: It is very important to use the Court’s complete address, including “Suite 900.” VA also has an office at 625 Indiana Avenue, and if the Postal Service delivers your appeal to VA instead of to the Court, you can lose your case before you even get a chance to tell the Court your side of the matter.
  • A notice of appeal will still be considered to be on time even if the Court does not receive it within the 120-day deadline IF you mailed it to the Court’s correct address AND it contains a legible U.S. Postal Service postmark dated within the 120-day time limit. Regular, first class mail is fine. You do not need to send it express mail, priority mail, or certified mail. (Note that a Federal Express, UPS or other delivery service date stamp, or foreign postal service postmark, does not count, and if you send your Notice of Appeal in any of these ways, the date the Court actually receives your Notice of Appeal will be your filing date.)

Finally, please note that there are two parties to every appeal to the Court. You will always be the “appellant” in the case, while the opponent in every appeal is the Secretary of Veterans Affairs. The Secretary will always be referred to as the “appellee.”





How to Appeal Your Claim & FAQs

This website is intended to provide information to individuals who have an active appeal at the US Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. It is based on the Veterans Consortium’s understanding of the Court’s Rules of Practice and Procedure as of this posting, May (2011). Those rules are subject to change, but an appellant will receive a complete set of current Rules of Practice and Procedure from the clerk of the Court after the Notice of Appeal is filed.

The current Rules of Practice and Procedure are also available at the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims website.

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