There are several options for a Veteran when trying to appeal a Rating Decision. The Veteran may file a supplemental claim, in which the Veteran attaches new and relevant information; a request for a Higher-Level Review, in which the Veteran asks the Regional Office to readjudicate the claim with the evidence as it exists in the claims file already; and finally, the Veteran can request a review by the highest authority, the Board of Veterans’ Appeals, or “BVA.”
The BVA is the first instance the Veteran has to have his case reviewed by a Veterans Law Judge. Judges are often time more familiar with VA disability compensation rules and regulations. For that reason, it is often time beneficial for a claimant to present his case to the Veterans’ Law Judge. Additionally, there are two options for the Veteran to choose from when requesting a review by a Veterans Law Judge. The first option is a “Direct Review” by a Veterans Law Judge. The second option for BVA review is a request for a “Board Hearing.” There are pros and cons to each of these options.