Virtual Appeals Hearings Now Available
By USVCP Staff Writers
September 25, 2020
Veterans who disagree with a decision the VA has made on their disability compensation claim can now request a virtual hearing with the Board of Veterans Appeals (BHA).
With virtual hearings, veterans will have the flexibility to participate in their Board hearing from the comfort of their own home.
Also, virtual disability hearings give veterans more flexibility in determining the outcome of their disability case.
Virtual hearings aren’t new, but, in the past, veterans could only participate in their Board hearing at a VA facility with video capability.
This limitation was especially challenging when the nearest VA facility is hours away or if a veteran must travel at the last minute.
Thanks to new technology, veterans with a cell phone, computer or tablet with Wi-Fi connection, can have a virtual BVA hearing
anywhere with a veterans law judge.
To date, nearly 3,000 veterans have already requested virtual tele-hearings, according to the VA blog.
“The BVA denied my claim for the second time. My VSO quickly gathered additional medical records and scheduled me for a tele-hearing. The Judge took one look at me and granted my disability within minutes,” according to veteran Sam Niblack.
All in-person BVA hearings were suspended in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On April 10, 2020, President Donald Trump signed legislation making virtual tele-hearings a permanent option for veterans.
With virtual hearing veterans have greater access to Board hearings, more choice and more control in their appeals process. Virtual hearings also allow veterans service officers (VSO) to offer veterans more options to appeal their case at their convenience.
Veterans who have requested a hearing will receive a letter or telephone call from the BVA to discuss their options. Veterans who want a tele-hearing should also contact their veteran service organization or private representative to establish a tele-hearing.