Board of Veterans’ Appeals

The Board of Veterans’ Appeals (BVA) is a part of the adjudication process for disability compensation and related benefits within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The BVA is located in Washington, D.C.  As written in U.S. Federal Law, the mission of the BVA is to conduct hearings and decide appeals in a timely manner. While hearings are conducted and decisions are rendered, the BVA often does not live up to the law in regards to timeliness.

38 United States Code (U.S.C.) § 7101(a).

38 United States Code (U.S.C.) § 7101(a).

There is in the Department a Board of Veterans’ Appeals (hereinafter in this chapter referred to as the “Board”). The Board is under the administrative control and supervision of a chairman directly responsible to the Secretary. The Board shall consist of a Chairman, a Vice Chairman, and such number of members as may be found necessary in order to conduct hearings and dispose of appeals properly before the Board in a timely manner. The Board shall have such other professional, administrative, clerical, and stenographic personnel as are necessary in conducting hearings and considering and disposing of appeals properly before the Board. The Board shall have sufficient personnel under the preceding sentence to enable the Board to conduct hearings and consider and dispose of appeals properly before the Board in a timely manner.

You have an option for a hearing. In most cases, I recommend it. If testimony will be helpful, I definitely recommend it. The only times you may want to waive a hearing is when testimony will have no impact, or dire circumstances require the fastest decision possible.

THERE ARE THREE TYPES OF HEARINGS BEFORE THE BOARD OF VETERANS’ APPEALS:

  • Video teleconference

    you will offer testimony on your appeal at your local VA office to a Veterans Law Judge in Washington, DC by live video teleconference. For my clients, I report to my local office in San Diego to make it a three-way video conference. This type of hearing is quicker to schedule and the convenience of not having to travel to D.C. is preferable in most instances. Also, I believe it is less stressful for most clients than an in-person hearing, and, in most cases, the testimony will have just as much of an impact as presenting your case in-person. I recommend this option in most cases for the ease of attendance and speed of processing.

  • Travel Board hearing

    the VA will travel to your local VA office to conduct an in-person hearing. This is the slowest of all options, and for that reason, I do not recommend it.

  • In-person

    you will offer testimony on your appeal before a Veterans Law Judge in Washington, DC. Unless you are in Washington D.C., or close to it, I do not recommend this option over the convenience and ease of the the Video Conference.

In order to appeal to BVA, you must submit a Form 9. You only have one year from the date of the letter notifying you of the original decision on your claim, or 60 days from the date of the letter accompanying the Statement of the Case. The VA appeals process is a multi-step decision process and can become quite complicated and time-consuming.  It utilizes an “open record” – meaning, that it allows a Veteran to submit medical and other evidence at any point from the beginning to the end of the process, including while the claim is pending on appeal. This may in turn require the VA to gather further evidence on the Veteran’s behalf. It is in your best interests to secure legal representation for the best results. As a Veteran Appeal Attorney, I am prepared to access your file and attain the evidence needed before too late.

Far too often, I represent veterans who need a medical opinion or supporting statements that are not in the file. Other times, a failure on behalf of the VA needs to be pointed out and addressed. Do not risk losing your case due to substandard representation.

Call me today at 800-861-7262 for a free consultation or fill out the contact box.

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