Switching Lanes in the VA Claims and BVA Appeals Process

It is important to know that you can change your request for a certain review option at several times throughout the VA claims process:

  • Switching Lanes at the Regional Office Level: You can change your request for a certain review option at any time prior to the VA issuing a decision on your claim, so long as the change happens within the one-year period following the date of decision. You can choose another review option and your effective date will be preserved.
    EXAMPLE: If you file an appeal through the higher-level review lane, but they you discover new and relevant evidence, you can withdraw from the higher review lane and file a supplemental claim to submit new and relevant evidence. So long as this happens within the initial one-year period to appeal.
  • Switching Lanes at the Board of Veterans’ Appeals Level: You are also able to switch dockets at the Board level by modifying your Notice of Disagreement. However, if you have already submitted new evidence or testified at a Board hearing, you cannot switch dockets to take advantage of the faster direct docket.

Your request to modify must be made in writing within one year of the rating decision, or 60 days after the Notice of Disagreement is received by the Board, whichever is later.

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