When appealing a rating decision by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), it is important that you get the Statement of Case. If you have never appealed a VA rating decision before, chances are that you do not know what a Statement of Case is and why it is so important.
The Statement of Case is a required document that the VA must send out when a veteran appeals their case. Its purpose is to explain the reasons and statutes used to determine the rating decision that you received. 
Reviewing Your Initial Decision Paperwork When Dealing with VA Benefits
It is very important that you look at your initial decision paperwork to compare the reasons listed for your rating decision to the reason listed in the Statement of Case. You need to ensure that no after-the-fact reasons have been added, as the extra reasons may be used against you at the Board of Veterans Appeal hearing level.
If you have already received your initial rating decision but feel that it is incomplete or incorrect, you can file a Supplemental Statement to attempt to correct the issues. This statement should include an explanation of why you disagree with the initial rating decision as well as any additional evidence that supports your claim.
Once you have received the Statement of Case, you have to work quickly to review it. You will only have 60 days from the date of receipt to file your Substantive Appeal on VA Form 9. The VA Form 9 should be attached to your Statement of Case. This appeal should include all relevant information and evidence such as employment history, issues on appeal, and disability ratings on appeal. Be sure to complete all of the required forms and provide any supporting documentation necessary for your case to be considered.
If My Condition Has Worsened, Should I File a Supplemental Claim?
If your condition has worsened since the issuance of your original rating decision, then filing a Supplemental Claim can be beneficial. A supplemental claim must be filed within one year of the original rating decision, so it is important to act quickly if you have reason to believe that your disability qualifies for an increase in benefits. You will need to provide relevant evidence and support for why you think your condition has gotten worse, as well as a full update of your medical records.
The VA takes supplemental claims seriously and can use them to alter their previous decision if it is warranted by the additional evidence you provide. It is important that you take the time to review the Statement of Case before filing a Supplemental Claim and make sure your evidence supports any changes in disability rating that you request.
How Shook & Stone Can Help?
At Shook & Stone, our experienced attorneys understand the appeals process and can help you navigate the VA’s complex system of filing a Statement of Case. Our experienced team can provide you with comprehensive decision review options and assist in formulating arguments to present at hearings or in written submissions.
We also take care of all the paperwork and filing requirements and provide guidance throughout the entire process.
If you need help to appeal a VA Disability Rating, contact our Law firm today. Our VA-accredited attorneys and responsive staff will be on hand to provide a free consultation.
 VA.gov | Veterans Affairs. (n.d.). Veterans Benefits Administration Home. https://benefits.va.gov/BENEFITS/factsheets/appeals/Appeals-Brochure.pdf