HomeVeterans Guide to VA Claim FilingObtaining a DecisionObtaining a Decision

2.1. Obtaining a Decision

A claim for benefits, whether formal or informal, remains pending until it is finally adjudicated ("rated").  Ingram v. Nicholson, 21 Vet. App. 232 (2007); 38 C.F.R. § 3.160(c); see John Fussell & Jonathan Hager, The Evolution of the Pending Claim Doctrine, 2 VETERANS L. REV. 145, 164-69 (2010).  A "pending claim" is "[a]n application, formal or informal, which has not been finally adjudicated."  38 C.F.R. § 3.160(c).  "Consistent with this regulation . . . [the] Court has held that a claim remains pending – even for years – if the Secretary fails to act on a claim before him."  Ingram, 21 Vet. App. at 240.  

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