The Board of Veteran’s Appeal is an appellate body of the US Department of Veteran Affairs. It can overrule a decision made by the Veteran Affairs (VA) regional office including those regarding issuing of veterans benefits. If you are a veteran and you appeal a decision to this board, they will have a fresh look at your case and consider the evidence as to why you deserve to be granted disability benefits.
Why would you need a BVA hearing?
Veterans usually seek a BVA hearing when they feel their benefit claim is not being addressed to their satisfaction. These hearings are held before a Veteran Law Judge. Veterans may feel that speaking to a judge will give them a more personal and persuasive opportunity to present their case.
For instance, veterans have better chances of explaining their PTSD stressors and including details about their experiences than when using the formal process through Veteran Affairs. By speaking in person about their experience, they may feel their claim will be well understood, which will lead to them getting the benefits they deserve.
How are BVA hearings conducted?
The process of a BVA hearing starts with filling out VA Form 9. You will have to choose which type of hearing you’re most comfortable with from the following three options:
- Video conferencing from your regional VA regional office
- Travel board hearing
- Hearing in Washington DC
Video conferencing from your local VA offices
This type of hearing occurs through video conferencing with the Veterans Law Judge in Washington D.C while you and your representative are in your local VA office. You can also have the hearing from the local VA office while your attorney is with the judge in DC.
Travel board hearing
With this option, the BVA judges schedule a visit to your local VA offices to hold your appeal. This can delay your hearing since you must adhere to the judges’ schedule.
Hearing in Washington D.C
With this hearing, you’ll travel to Washington DC to have your hearing at the BVA central office. It can take quite some time since multiple claimants are scheduled for the hearing. Therefore, the first claimants to sign in will have their case listened to first.
Expect to receive notice through mail within 30 days once your hearing is scheduled. The hearing will last for approximately one hour. If you need more than an hour, please request extra time before the hearing starts.