From the Summary: "Congress, through the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), provides a variety of benefits and services to veterans and to certain members of their families. These benefits range from health care and related services to burial benefits. The veteran's basic eligibility for these programs and services is usually determined by the local VA office. Veterans not satisfied with the VA's decision(s) may wish to have them reviewed and may appeal the decision(s). This report traces the various steps involved in the appeal process -- starting with the original application for benefits and concluding with an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. A flow chart outlining all of the steps in the appeal process is provided. […] The VA has various statutory obligations to assist the veteran in the preparation of his/her application for benefits and any subsequent appeal(s). Among these obligations are assistance in the preparation of the initial application; provision of various records; medical exams; and other related issues. Certain legal and factual presumptions are established by statute that may be favorable to the veteran's claim. These issues are examined in the appendix to this report."
CRS Report for Congress, RL33704