Hearing Docket at Board of Veterans’ Appeals: Notice of Disagreement
Jenna Zellmer: Hello. Welcome to CCK Live Under 5:00. I’m Jenna Zellmer. Today, I will be explaining the hearing docket at the Board of Veterans’ Appeals. First, a little overview about what the Board of Veterans’ Appeals is. The Board, or the BVA, is an entity that conducts hearings and decides claims for veterans’ benefits once they’ve been appealed from the Agency of Original Jurisdiction. The Agency of Original Jurisdiction, or the AOJ, is usually the VA Regional Office.
Under the Appeals Modernization Act, veterans have one year to appeal an unfavorable decision by VA by choosing one of the following three review options or lanes. First, there’s the Higher-Level Review lane. Second, there’s the Supplemental Claim lane, and third, there’s the Notice of Disagreement lane, which is the appeal to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals.
When appealing directly to the Board, which is the third lane, NOD, the Notice of Disagreement lane, veterans will be required to choose between one of three lanes, which are called dockets. Those are the direct review docket, the hearing docket, and the evidence docket. That’s just to orient yourself. We’re talking about the hearing docket in the NOD appeal lane.
The hearing docket is for veterans who want to have a hearing before a veterans law judge. And the only hearing options available to veterans under the AMA will be a video conference hearing or a hearing at the Board in Washington, .D.C.
Now, there used to be travel Board hearings, which were held by veterans law judges at local regional offices. Those are now only available to veterans who are still in the legacy appeal system. So, if you’re in the AMA, you are not entitled to a travel Board hearing.
After choosing the hearing docket, the Board will notify you or your representative of the scheduled time and location of the hearing with at least thirty days’ notice prior to the hearing. When you have a hearing, you can submit additional evidence up to 90 days from the day the hearing is held.
Many veterans feel that the hearings provide a chance to be heard and allow them to be better heard and be able to share their stories in a more significant manner. But, in general, requesting a Board hearing of any type will add significant delays to a veteran receiving a decision. So, it’s important to note that the judge is not going to decide your case on the spot, but later a transcript of your hearing is going to be added to your claims file which will then be reviewed and decided by the Board in the order it was received.
Right now there’s an ongoing backlog at the Board that veteran should be aware of when choosing this docket. We suggest working with an accredited VA disability lawyer, claims agent, or Veterans Service Officer to help you select the right appeal option for your case.
To learn more about the BVA appeal process, please check out our blog or browse our extensive video library. Thanks for watching and be sure to subscribe to our channel.
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