Board of Veterans' Appeals

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The Board of Veterans Appeals (often referred to as the BVA or simply the Board) is an administrative tribunal within the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, located in Washington, D.C.

History[edit]

The Board of Veterans Appeals was established in July 1933.[1] It was given authority to hear appeals on benefit decisions.[1] Members were appointed by the Administrator with the approval of the President.[1]

Membership[edit]

The Board has as many members as the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs deems "necessary in order to conduct hearings and dispose of appeals properly before the Board in a timely manner".[2] Board members are appointed by the Secretary, with the approval of the President.[3] The one exception is the Chairman of the Board, who is appointed to a six year term by the President of the United States, and confirmed by the United States Senate.[4]

As of 2012, the Board consisted of 64 members.[5] Members of the Board are typically "experienced attorneys in the field of veterans law".[6] Staff attorneys, also trained in veterans law, review the facts of each appeal and assist the Board members.[7][8]

Procedure[edit]

When a claimant's application for benefits has been denied by a Regional Office, an appeal can be made to the Board of Veterans' Appeals (BVA or Board).[9] The BVA is part of the Department of Veterans Affairs, located in Washington, DC, and makes the final determination on an appeal within the VA. These Board members make the ultimate conclusion on appeals within the VA. The BVA also employs staff attorneys that assist the Board members while preparing a decision for a claim, much like a clerk for a judge.[10]

The Board received and docketed 49,611 appeals in the 2012 fiscal year,[11] and anticipated the docketing of 54,033 claims in the 2013 fiscal year.[12]

Decisions of the Board may be appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims,[13] and from there to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.[14]

Process of Filing an Appeal with the Board[edit]

The process of appealing an unfavorable decision consists of three (3) steps:

  1. First the veteran submits a Notice of Disagreement or NOD to the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) using VA Form 21-4138.[15]
  2. The VBA subsequently sends the veteran (and his or her representative, such as a Veterans Service Officer and/or attorney), a Statement of the Case.
  3. After reviewing the VBA's Statement of the Case, the veteran, usually via his or her attorney, claims agent, or Veterans Service Officer, files a formal notice of appeal (on VA Form 9, Appeal to Board of Veterans' Appeals)[16] with the Board.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c United States Department of Veterans Affairs, VA History in Brief, p. 12.
  2. ^ 38 U.S.C. § 7101(a).
  3. ^ Daniel T. Shedd, "Overview of the Appeal Process for Veterans' Claims", Congressional Research Service Report 7-5700 (April 29, 2013), page 3, citing 38 U.S.C. §7101A.
  4. ^ 38 U.S.C. § 7101(b)(1).
  5. ^ Daniel T. Shedd, "Overview of the Appeal Process for Veterans' Claims", Congressional Research Service Report 7-5700 (April 29, 2013), page 3, citing BOARD OF VETERANS' APPEALS, REPORT OF THE CHAIRMAN: FISCAL YEAR 2012 (2013), page 19.
  6. ^ Daniel T. Shedd, "Overview of the Appeal Process for Veterans' Claims", Congressional Research Service Report 7-5700 (April 29, 2013), page 3.
  7. ^ Board of Veterans Appeals.
  8. ^ 38 U.S.C. §§ 7103, 7104.
  9. ^ Daniel T. Shedd, "Overview of the Appeal Process for Veterans' Claims", Congressional Research Service Report 7-5700 (April 29, 2013), page 3, citing 38 U.S.C. §7104(a).
  10. ^ Daniel T. Shedd, "Overview of the Appeal Process for Veterans' Claims", Congressional Research Service Report 7-5700 (April 29, 2013), page 3, citing BOARD OF VETERANS' APPEALS, VAPAMPHLET 01-00-1, UNDERSTANDING THE APPEALS PROCESS (2000), page 6.
  11. ^ Daniel T. Shedd, "Overview of the Appeal Process for Veterans' Claims", Congressional Research Service Report 7-5700 (April 29, 2013), page 3, citing BOARD OF VETERANS' APPEALS, REPORT OF THE CHAIRMAN: FISCAL YEAR 2012, (2013), page 16.
  12. ^ Daniel T. Shedd, "Overview of the Appeal Process for Veterans' Claims", Congressional Research Service Report 7-5700 (April 29, 2013), page 3, citing BOARD OF VETERANS' APPEALS, REPORT OF THE CHAIRMAN: FISCAL YEAR 2012, (2013), page 19.
  13. ^ Daniel T. Shedd, "Overview of the Appeal Process for Veterans' Claims", Congressional Research Service Report 7-5700 (April 29, 2013), page 3, citing 38 U.S.C. §§7252, 7266.
  14. ^ Daniel T. Shedd, "Overview of the Appeal Process for Veterans' Claims", Congressional Research Service Report 7-5700 (April 29, 2013), page 4, citing 38 U.S.C. §7292.
  15. ^ "VA Form 21-4138" (PDF). Department of Veterans Affairs. Retrieved 1 May 2013. 
  16. ^ "Appeal to Board of Veterans' Appeals" (PDF). VA Form 9. Department of Veterans Affairs. November 2009. Retrieved 1 May 2013. 

External links[edit]