Guide to VA Abbreviations

RO (Regional Office) – Your local veteran affairs office.

NOD (Notice of Disagreement) – What you file when the regional office denies your disability claim.

SOC (Statement of the Case) – What the VA regional office sends back to you if they disagree with your NOD. This is usually a recap of their denial. To appeal to the Board you must file a VA Form 9 within 60 days after the SOC was mailed.

BVA (Board of Veterans’ Appeals) – Where you send your appeal when you’ve received an SOC. (For example: After your claim has been denied and your regional office also sent you a “Statement of the Case”.)

RBA (Record Before the Agency) – A collection of everything you’ve ever submitted to the regional office, the Board of Veterans’ Appeals, every medical record, letters, and so on. Basically, every piece of communication you’ve had with the VA regarding your disability claim.

CAVC (U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims) – A national court outside of the Veteran Affairs system. If your VA office denies your claim at the Board level, you make your appeal here. Important Note: This court has nothing to do with the VA It is part of the federal court system.

EAJA (Equal Access to Justice Act) – This law requires the government to pay for your lawyer at the CAVC level. This is why lawyers say you can hire them at no cost to you. That’s true. The government pays for your lawyer.