First, a claim is filed at the state Regional Office (RO). Most claims are judged and concluded at this level. If a veteran is unhappy with the decision made at the RO level, he or she may request that the RO review the decision.

If a vet wants to try to appeal the claim, the next step goes to the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA). Currently, it is taking two to two-and-a-half years for the BVA to decide an appeal.

If appeals need to continue past the BVA level, they may be heard at the next highest court: the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC). The final stage of an appeal may occur at the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Only one veteran’s case has ever been accepted at the Supreme Court.