Under the legacy appeals system, veterans are sent a Supplemental Statement Of The Case (SSOC) by the agency of original jurisdiction when there are any material changes in, or additions to, the information included in the Statement of Case(SOC) or any prior SSOC. When this occurs, veterans can choose to ignore the document, in which case their claim will be certified to the Board, or they can respond in one of the following ways:
- Submit new and material evidence within 30 days of receiving the SSOC and expressly refuse to waive VA Regional Office consideration, which requires the Regional Office to decide the claim again.
- Request a formal hearing with a Decision Review Officer (DRO) within 30 days of receiving the SSOC, which requires the Regional Office to decide the claim again after a hearing has been held.
- Submit a written response to the SSOC with or without new and material evidence informing the Board why the SSOC erred in denying the veteran’s pending claims.
Sometimes, even if veterans respond to the SSOC in a timely manner and submit new and material evidence of which they do not waive Regional Office consideration and/or request a DRO hearing, their local VA Regional Office will still certify the decision to the Board. However, if that happens, the Board may remand the claim back down to the VA Regional Office level. And if a veteran doesn’t wish to respond to the SSOC because he or she wants their claim to go to the Board and does not wish to submit any additional argument at that time, then that is acceptable. Responses to SSOC’s are optional.