38 USC 7105 - Filing of notice of disagreement and appeal

(a) Appellate review will be initiated by a notice of disagreement and completed by a substantive appeal after a statement of the case is furnished as prescribed in this section. Each appellant will be accorded hearing and representation rights pursuant to the provisions of this chapter and regulations of the Secretary.
(b) 
(1) Except in the case of simultaneously contested claims, notice of disagreement shall be filed within one year from the date of mailing of notice of the result of initial review or determination. Such notice, and appeals, must be in writing and be filed with the activity which entered the determination with which disagreement is expressed (hereinafter referred to as the agency of original jurisdiction). A notice of disagreement postmarked before the expiration of the one-year period will be accepted as timely filed.
(2) Notices of disagreement, and appeals, must be in writing and may be filed by the claimant, the claimants legal guardian, or such accredited representative, attorney, or authorized agent as may be selected by the claimant or legal guardian. Not more than one recognized organization, attorney, or agent will be recognized at any one time in the prosecution of a claim.

Advertisement
view counter
(c) If no notice of disagreement is filed in accordance with this chapter within the prescribed period, the action or determination shall become final and the claim will not thereafter be reopened or allowed, except as may otherwise be provided by regulations not inconsistent with this title.
(d) 
(1) Where the claimant, or the claimants representative, within the time specified in this chapter, files a notice of disagreement with the decision of the agency of original jurisdiction, such agency will take such development or review action as it deems proper under the provisions of regulations not inconsistent with this title. If such action does not resolve the disagreement either by granting the benefit sought or through withdrawal of the notice of disagreement, such agency shall prepare a statement of the case. A statement of the case shall include the following:
(A) A summary of the evidence in the case pertinent to the issue or issues with which disagreement has been expressed.
(B) A citation to pertinent laws and regulations and a discussion of how such laws and regulations affect the agencys decision.
(C) The decision on each issue and a summary of the reasons for such decision.
(2) A statement of the case, as required by this subsection, will not disclose matters that would be contrary to section 5701 of this title or otherwise contrary to the public interest. Such matters may be disclosed to a designated representative unless the relationship between the claimant and the representative is such that disclosure to the representative would be as harmful as if made to the claimant.
(3) Copies of the statement of the case prescribed in paragraph (1) of this subsection will be submitted to the claimant and to the claimants representative, if there is one. The claimant will be afforded a period of sixty days from the date the statement of the case is mailed to file the formal appeal. This may be extended for a reasonable period on request for good cause shown. The appeal should set out specific allegations of error of fact or law, such allegations related to specific items in the statement of the case. The benefits sought on appeal must be clearly identified. The agency of original jurisdiction may close the case for failure to respond after receipt of the statement of the case, but questions as to timeliness or adequacy of response shall be determined by the Board of Veterans Appeals.
(4) The claimant in any case may not be presumed to agree with any statement of fact contained in the statement of the case to which the claimant does not specifically express agreement.
(5) The Board of Veterans Appeals may dismiss any appeal which fails to allege specific error of fact or law in the determination being appealed.