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Appeals, Board of Veterans Appeals


The Board of Veterans Appeals, often abbreviated as BVA, is a component of the Department of Veterans Affairs that handles the appeal process for veterans who are dissatisfied with decisions made on their benefit claims. The board reviews the veteran’s case, including the initial decision and any new evidence, in order to make a final determination. The primary objective of the BVA is to ensure that veterans receive fair and unbiased evaluations and decisions on their claims.

Key Takeaways

  1. The Board of Veterans’ Appeals (BVA) is an entity within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) responsible for reviewing and deciding on appeals of veterans’ claims for benefits. This includes service-connected disability compensation, pension benefits, education benefits, and more.
  2. Appeals at the BVA usually occur after a veteran disagrees with a decision made by a VA regional office. The BVA reviews the evidence on record, listens to oral arguments, and may even hold hearings before issuing a final decision on the appeal.
  3. The Board is independent from the Veterans Benefits Administration, ensuring impartiality in the appeals process. Veterans can choose to be represented by an accredited attorney, agent, or Veterans Service Organization during their appeal to enhance their chances of a favorable outcome.


The VA benefits term: Appeals, Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA) is important as it offers a crucial avenue for veterans to seek a review of their claims for benefits and entitlements.

The BVA, an appellate-level adjudicatory body within the Department of Veterans Affairs, ensures that veterans receive due process and fair treatment when they file an appeal on the decisions made by the VA Regional Offices or other lower adjudicatory levels.

This process gives veterans an opportunity to present new evidence and arguments, ensuring that their rights to benefits and entitlements are adequately upheld.

Ultimately, the Appeals and Board of Veterans Appeals are crucial to safeguarding the well-being of veterans and fostering trust in the support systems available to them after their service.


The Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA) serves a significant purpose within the realm of VA Benefits. Its primary role is to provide service-disabled veterans the opportunity to appeal decisions made by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) with regard to their claims for benefits.

By doing so, the BVA ensures that veterans receive a fair and impartial review of their VA claims, thereby upholding their rights entitled under the law. Essentially, BVA functions as a vital safety net for veterans, ensuring they receive the benefits they’ve rightfully earned through their service to the country.

The BVA processes appeals in response to issues ranging from the denial of disability compensation to disagreements on pension or insurance eligibility. Veterans who feel that the VA has made an incorrect or unfair decision regarding their case can file a Notice of Disagreement through the BVA.

After conducting a thorough review of the veteran’s claim, the BVA issues a decision which may grant, deny, or remand the case for further development. Through this systematic process, the BVA strives to maintain the integrity of the VA benefit system and protect the rights of veterans.

Examples of Appeals, Board of Veterans Appeals

Example 1: A veteran named John, who served in the military for a few years, filed a disability compensation claim for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). His claim was initially denied by the VA, stating insufficient evidence. John believed that the decision was unjust, so he filed an appeal. He submitted additional medical records and personal statements, and the case was forwarded to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (BVA). After reviewing John’s case, the BVA granted him the disability benefits he sought.

Example 2: Susan, a veteran who served in the Gulf War, filed a claim for service-connected disability benefits for Fibromyalgia. Her claim was granted, but she disagreed with the 30% disability rating assigned by the VA. Susan opted to submit an appeal and arranged for a private medical examination to support her case, arguing that her condition was more severe and warranted a higher rating. Upon reviewing the additional evidence, the Board of Veterans’ Appeals agreed and increased her disability rating to 50%.

Example 3: Michael, a Vietnam War veteran, filed a claim for service-connected disability benefits for Diabetes Mellitus Type 2, which he believed to be related to his exposure to Agent Orange during his service. The VA initially denied his claim, arguing that he could not prove that he was in an area where Agent Orange was used. Michael appealed the decision, provided additional evidence, including buddy statements and military service records. The Board of Veterans’ Appeals took the new information into account and ultimately granted his claim for disability benefits.

FAQ: Board of Veterans Appeals and Appeals Process

What is the Board of Veterans Appeals?

The Board of Veterans’ Appeals (BVA) is an appeals body within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that addresses disagreements related to veterans’ benefits decisions. The BVA reviews appeals submitted by veterans or their representatives, providing a thorough review and a final decision on the case.

How do I file an appeal with the Board of Veterans Appeals?

To file an appeal with the BVA, you must submit a Notice of Disagreement (NOD) to your local VA office within one year of receiving the initial decision on your claim. Once you receive a Statement of the Case (SOC) in response, you can file a substantive appeal on VA Form 9.

What happens after I file an appeal with the BVA?

Once you file your appeal, the BVA will review your case and may request additional information if necessary. You may also have the option to request a hearing before the BVA, allowing you to present your case in-person. The Board will then make a final decision, which may either grant your appeal, deny it, or remand it for further review and development by the VA.

How long does the BVA appeals process take?

The BVA appeals process can be lengthy, taking as long as several years for a decision to be reached. Factors that affect the processing time include the complexity of your case, the availability of evidence, and the number of pending appeals. It’s essential to be patient during this process and make sure you continuously update any necessary documentation to help support your claim.

Can I get assistance from a Veterans Service Organization during the appeals process?

Yes, Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs) can help you during the appeals process. They provide free assistance, such as guidance and representation throughout the process. You can designate a VSO to represent you by completing VA Form 21-22 and submitting it with your appeal.

Related VA Benefit Terms

  • Notice of Disagreement (NOD)
  • Veterans Law Judge (VLJ)
  • Decision Review Officer (DRO)
  • Statement of the Case (SOC)
  • Supplemental Statement of the Case (SSOC)

Sources for More Information