The Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) has appointed twenty new judges to its Board of Veterans’ Appeals. These new judges will hear appeals from veterans looking to have their application for veterans’ disability benefits for review, as well as appeals from veterans looking to have their disability rating increased. These new judges will help to address the substantial backlog of cases that is hindering veterans’ ability to get access to their benefits.
What is the Board of Veterans’ Appeals?
The Board of Veterans’ Appeals is the primary body responsible for hearing appeals from veterans looking to have their application for disability benefits reviewed. They are also responsible for reviewing requests to revise a veteran’s disability rating, either due to an error made in the initial view or because of new evidence that has become available. Thus, they are crucial to helping veterans get the benefits they deserve, especially when they do not get what they believe they are entitled to initially.
What Are Disability Benefits Appeals?
A disability benefits appeal is a request made to the VA to review an application for veterans’ disability benefits that was either denied or given a low disability rating. The appeals process allows disabled veterans to have their case heard by someone new, with the hope of getting a better outcome. It also allows them to have their case reviewed in the event that new evidence comes to light, or in the event that their disability worsens over time.
Why Are These Appointments Being Made?
The twenty new judges are being appointed to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals to deal with a long-term backlog of disability benefits claims and appeals. The VA has long struggled to keep up with the large number of applications and appeals it must deal with, and a big part of that backlog is a simple lack of personnel to handle all the claims. By expanding the Board’s membership, it will allow them to handle more cases, helping to speed up the process.
How Does This Affect Disabled Veterans?
This is good news for disabled veterans, who in many cases may have been waiting months to have their appeals heard. As the new judges take their posts, they will be able to begin hearing cases, reducing the backlog and allowing disabled veterans to make their cases. For some veterans, this may be what they need to get their benefits in a more timely fashion, rather than waiting months to get their chance to be heard.
The attorneys of Sullivan & Kehoe place a special focus on assisting disabled veterans. Our veterans’ disability lawyers are still available for remote consultation on your legal issues. 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.