Board hearings with a Veterans Law Judge
Find out what happens at a Board of Veterans’ Appeals hearing—and how to request one if you want to discuss your appeal with a Veterans Law Judge.
The process for Board hearings has changed
If you're appealing a VA decision under the new process, keep reading below to learn how to request and prepare for a hearing. You'll follow the new process if you're:
- Appealing a VA decision you received on or after February 19, 2019
- Participating in the Rapid Appeals Modernization Program
- Opting into the new process using VA Form 10182
If you’re using VA Form 9 to appeal a VA decision you received before February 19, 2019, go to the Board of Veterans' Appeals (BVA) Hearing page
Why should I consider requesting a Board hearing?
You can request a video conference hearing if you want to provide testimony to a judge about your appeal. The hearing will be transcribed and added to your appeal file.
Am I required to have a Board hearing?
You aren’t required to have a hearing. A Board hearing is always optional.
Learn more about Board hearings
Request a Board hearing
How do I request a Board hearing?
When you fill out the Decision Review Request: Board Appeal (VA Form 10182), select block 11c, “Hearing with a Veterans Law Judge."
Download VA Form 10182 (PDF)
Learn more about requesting a Board Appeal
How will I know when my hearing is scheduled?
The Board of Veterans’ Appeals schedules hearings in docket order (the order in which they receive requests). You’ll get a notice in the mail at least 30 days before your hearing is scheduled. It will let you know the date and time of the hearing and where it’s located.
Prepare for your Board hearing
Can I bring evidence to my hearing?
Yes, you can bring new and relevant evidence to your hearing to share with the judge. You also have 90 days after the day of your hearing to submit new evidence for the judge’s review. Please don’t submit new evidence prior to your hearing.
Who can help me prepare for my hearing?
A representative who’s trained in the appeals process can help you prepare for your hearing and for the conversation with the judge. Your representative must be a VA-accredited lawyer, claims agent, or someone from a Veterans Service Organization (VSO).
Find out what to expect at your Board hearing
What will happen at my hearing?
To start, the judge will swear you in, asking you to take an oath that you’ll tell the truth during the hearing.
You and the judge will have a conversation. The judge will listen to your testimony and may ask you a few questions. Your representative, if you have one, may help you at the hearing.
- Tell the judge why you think you qualify for the VA benefits in your appeal
- Answer any questions the judge has about your appeal
- Share any new evidence with the judge
Hearings usually last 30 minutes.
When will the judge make a decision on my appeal?
Your hearing will be transcribed and added to your appeal file. You’ll be asked if you’d like a copy of the transcript for your personal records. The judge will review the hearing and the other evidence in your appeal file before making a decision.
When the 90-day time period for submitting new evidence closes, your case will be placed on the docket for a decision by a judge. If you don’t have new evidence to submit, you can waive the 90-day time period that’s automatically added to your appeal. Some Veterans Service Organizations will ask for time to make additional arguments in support of your case, so contact your representative first if you’re thinking of waiving this time period.
Reschedule or withdraw your Board hearing request
What if I need to reschedule my hearing?
You’ll need to send a written request to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals providing good cause to reschedule your hearing at least 2 weeks before your hearing. Include your name, the VA file number for your appeal, and the reason why you need a new hearing date. Send your written request to the Board.
Use the address or fax number listed below
If your hearing is less than 2 weeks away, you’ll need to file a motion explaining why you need to reschedule.
Examples of “good cause” for rescheduling would include if you, your representative, or a witness are sick or you had trouble getting records. A judge will review your request, and you’ll receive a notice in the mail when the judge decides if the hearing can be rescheduled.
Will I lose my place in line if I reschedule my hearing?
You won’t lose your place in line. The Board of Veterans’ Appeals schedules hearings in docket order (the order in which they receive requests). You’ll keep the same docket date, and your hearing will be rescheduled to the earliest date possible.
What if I need to withdraw my hearing?
If you change your mind about having a hearing, you can write to the Board to withdraw (cancel) your hearing request. This won’t speed up your appeal unless you also switch to the Direct Review appeal option, which can only be done at certain times.
If you switch to a different appeal option, you’ll keep the same docket date and your appeal will be decided at the same time as other appeals with the same date. However, the time it takes to get a decision is different on each docket.
If you need to withdraw your hearing request, you or your representative should send a written request at least 2 weeks before your hearing. Include your name, the VA file number for your appeal, and the reason you’re withdrawing the appeal. You still have the option to submit new evidence, as long as you send it to the Board within 90 days of withdrawing your hearing request. Send your written request to the Board using the address or fax number listed below.
Where do I send the Board a written request or new evidence?
You can mail or fax a written request to reschedule or withdraw your Board hearing. You can also submit new evidence for the judge to review within 90 days of the day of your hearing.
Board of Veterans’ Appeals
PO Box 27063
Washington, D.C. 20038
Fax your request to 844-678-8979.