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Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Service

Appealing a FOIA Request

Appealing a FOIA Request

Under the FOIA's administrative appeal provision and the VA FOIA regulations, a requester has the right to appeal any adverse determination the VA makes on their FOIA request.

You may file an administrative appeal if:

  • You are not satisfied with a FOIA office's initial determination;
  • You disagree with the center's withholding of information or you might believe that there are additional records responsive to your request that the center failed to locate;
  • You have requested expedited processing or a fee waiver and the FOIA office has not granted that request; or
  • You may appeal a determination that what has been requested is not reasonably described, that a record does not exist or cannot be located, that a record is not readily reproducible in the form or format requested, that the requested information is not a record subject to the FOIA, or a determination regarding the charging of a fee.
  • You do not receive a response from a VA FOIA Office within 20 working days

How to Appeal a FOIA Request

Any administrative appeal to a request must be made in writing within 60 days of any initial decision to deny a request. The letter of appeal should state clearly why the requester disagrees with the determination to withhold records. Both the front of the envelope and the appeal letter should contain the notation: "Freedom of Information Act Appeal"

The final VA decision will be made by the General Counsel or the Deputy General Counsel.

Where to Appeal a FOIA Request


Effective on September 19, 2011, the Department of Veterans Affairs will accept FOIA Appeals electronically.  If you filed a FOIA request, you want to file an appeal, and your appeal does not involve the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), use the following Post Office address, fax or email address to file a FOIA appeal: 

Department of Veterans Affairs
General Counsel (024)
810 Vermont Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20420

Fax: (202) 273-6388
Email Non-OIG Appeals to:

If you filed a FOIA request with the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), and you want to file a FOIA appeal, use the following Post Office address, fax, or email address to file an OIG appeal:

Department of Veterans Affairs
Office of the Inspector General
Office of Counselor (50)
810 Vermont Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20420

Fax: (202) 495-5859
Email OIG Appeals to:

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