When a veteran applies for disability benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and gets denied (or else doesn’t receive the level of benefits they think they should be entitled to), they can appeal the decision to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals. Traditionally, these hearings are carried out in person and require the veteran to travel to the hearing if they want to participate. However, with the introduction of new virtual hearings, it will be possible to conduct these appeals online, without requiring veterans to travel to the physical site of their hearing.
Currently, one of the most consistent problems with people seeking to appeal their disability rulings is the fact that you need to travel to the hearing for the appeal. This can present a problem for veterans with disabilities (in other words, the people most likely to go through this appeals process) who often have difficulty making the trip to the hearing. By offering virtual hearings, it will enable veterans with disabilities to more easily exercise their right to an appeal and, hopefully, receive the benefits they are entitled to.
The announcement comes as part of a broader effort by the VA to take advantage of telemedicine and other technological advances that can make life easier for disabled veterans. Aside from increasing accessibility for veterans with disabilities, it can also help to save costs for both veterans and the government by reducing the amount of travel required and the number of cancelled hearings due to veterans being unable to make it to the location. The program has been in a trial phase since July 2019 but is being set to roll out for the general public in 2020.
The attorneys of Sullivan & Kehoe place a special focus on assisting disabled veterans. Our veterans’ disability lawyers may be able to assist you or a loved one in obtaining VA disability benefits. Call our office at (800) 395 -7830 to schedule a consultation in our New York City, Garden City, Kings Park, Riverhead, or White Plains office, or visit our contact page.