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Board of Veterans' Appeals

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Cheryl Mason, Chairman of the Board of Veterans' Appeals

Board of Veterans Appeals Board Hearing Overview

What happens during a Board Hearing?

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Who and What is the Board of Veterans’ Appeals?

On July 28, 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt created the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (Board) by Executive Order 6230, Veterans Regulation No. 2(a). The Board was delegated the authority to render the final decisions on appeal for the Administrator (now Secretary) and was directly responsible to the Administrator (Secretary). The Board was charged "to provide every possible assistance" to claimants and to take final action that would "be fair to the veteran as well as the Government." The Board continues to meet this charge.

The Board is comprised of a Chairman, Vice Chairman, and such number of Veterans Law Judges/Board members as necessary to meet the Board's mission to conduct hearings and dispose of appeals properly before the Board in a timely manner. 38 U.S.C. § 7101(a).

To address the growing number of appeals, the Board, over the past 5 years, has grown from approximately 800 to about 1200 personnel and we are still growing thanks to the continued investment of the Department and Congress. The Board increased its staff to include Veterans Law Judges, attorneys, and administrative and operational personnel, recruiting and hiring widely diverse, bringing together different backgrounds, education, experience, ideas, and perspectives to include Veterans, military spouses and family members, caregivers, survivors, first generation Americans, and LGBTQ+ members. This diversity strengthens the Board and enable us to better serve our constituency.

The Board composition and procedures are governed by 38 U.S.C. §§ 7101-7112. The Board often receives questions regarding how appeals are worked at the Board. Under 38 U.S.C. § 7107 (a)(1), all appeals at the Board shall be considered and decided in regular docket order according to its place on the docket. Docket is defined by the date of receipt of the appeal. So, appeals are processed in first in first out method. The only exceptions are those appeals that are advanced on the docket whether the appellant is age 75 or over; or for which motion has been filed for serious illness; severe financial hardship; or for other sufficient cause shown.

Currently, the Board is working both legacy and appeals modernization act (AMA) appeals filed by Veterans and appellants. Legacy are those appeals that existed prior to the implementation of the AMA in February 2019 and are the oldest pending appeals. More information can be found in the metrics section here on the Board’s website.

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How do I file an appeal?

If you are dissatisfied or disagree with a VA decision, you have the right to file an appeal with the Board of Veterans’ Appeals. The Board will review the evidence presented and issue a decision.

Click here to learn more about the appeals process or to start your appeal online here.

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How do I find the status of my appeal?

You can find the status of your appeal from the va.gov homepage under the “Disability” section by clicking on the “Check your claim or appeal status” then following the guidance on that page. You can access the appeal status page directly here or call 1-800-827-1000.

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When will your appeal be decided?

As a general matter, the Board is required by law to review appeals in docket order. However, the Board may advance an appeal on the docket (AOD) if the appellant demonstrates unusual hardship such as serious illness, severe financial hardship, or other sufficient cause. Additional information on AOD status is located under Customer Service.

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Who is my hearing coordinator?

If Veterans, appellants, representatives or Regional Offices have questions about their hearings, Hearing Coordinator List provides the hearing team coordinator points of contact by region.

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What is AMA?

In 2017 the Appeals Modernization Act (AMA) was passed and took effect in February 2019. AMA created a new decision review process allowing Veterans to choose from three lanes to determine the path their appeal will follow. The three lanes to choose from are supplemental claim, higher-level review, and appealing to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals.

Click here for more information.


AMA
Board Hearing Status
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The Board Appeals Metrics page is now available with additional details. The link is also available in the Resources links to the right.


Board of Veterans’ Appeals Organizational Chart


Additional information about the VA Appeals Status Tool

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