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Board of Veterans' Appeals (BVA) Hearing

Find out what happens at a Board of Veterans’ Appeals hearing—and how to request one if you want a Veterans Law Judge to discuss your appeal.

Why might I want a Board hearing?

You might want a Board hearing if you think it’ll help support your appeal to discuss your case with a judge.

Do I have to have a Board hearing?

No. Board hearings are always optional.

Learn more about Board hearings:

Schedule your Board hearing
Prepare for your Board hearing
Find out what to expect at your Board hearing

Schedule your Board hearing

How do I request a Board hearing?

You can request a Board hearing when you fill out your VA Form 9.

The form will ask you to choose 1 of these 4 options:

  • No hearing. If you choose this option, you can send a letter to the Board that delivers the same message as what you would have said at a hearing.
  • A videoconference hearing at your local VA office. This takes place at your local VA office (or another facility close to you). VA can usually schedule video hearings sooner than in-person hearings.
    Find out more about choosing a video hearing.
  • An in-person hearing at your local VA office. This can sometimes delay your hearing, because judges have to be scheduled to travel to your local VA office.
  • An in-person hearing at the Board in Washington, DC.

Download VA Form 9.

Or you can contact your Veterans Service Organization at any time during the appeals process to get help with requesting a hearing.
Find a Veterans Service Organization.

How will I know when my hearing is scheduled?

You’ll receive a notice in the mail at least 30 days before your hearing is scheduled.

What if I need to reschedule my hearing?

Send a written request to reschedule your hearing at least 2 weeks before your scheduled hearing. Include your name and the VA file number for your claim.

Mail your request to:

Board of Veterans’ Appeals
PO Box 27063
Washington, DC 20038

You’ll need to file a motion explaining why you have “good cause” for rescheduling any of these types of hearings:

  • An in-person hearing at the Board in Washington, DC, that’s less than 2 weeks away, or
  • An in-person hearing at the Board in Washington, DC, if you’ve already rescheduled your hearing before, or
  • An in-person hearing at your local VA regional office (called a Travel Board hearing), or
  • A video hearing

Examples of “good cause” might be if you, your representative, or a witness are sick, or if you’ve had trouble getting the records you need to support your appeal.

A judge will review your request and decide if the hearing can be rescheduled. You’ll get a copy of the decision about rescheduling your hearing in the mail. If VA can reschedule your hearing, you’ll receive a notice at least 30 days before the new hearing date.

What if I need to cancel my hearing?

Send a written request to cancel your hearing at least 2 weeks before your scheduled hearing. Include your name, the VA file number for your claim, and the reason you’re canceling.

Mail your request to:

Board of Veterans’ Appeals
PO Box 27063
Washington, DC 20038

Prepare for your Board hearing

What new evidence should I bring to my hearing?

If you’ve already submitted evidence, the judge will be able to review it on their computer, and it’s not necessary to bring it to your hearing. But you should bring any new evidence with you. Once you’ve received your hearing schedule notice, it’s better to bring new evidence to your hearing rather than mailing it.

Can I get help preparing for my hearing?

Yes. You can get a representative to help you prepare for the hearing and present your information to the judge. This person may be a lawyer, a claims agent, or someone from a Veterans Service Organization (VSO).

Get help from a representative.

Find out what to expect at your Board hearing

What will happen at my hearing?

To start, the Veterans Law Judge will ask you to take an oath that you’ll tell the truth during the hearing.

You’ll then:

  • Tell the judge why you think you qualify for the VA benefits in your claim
  • Answer any questions the judge may have about your appeal
  • Give the judge any new evidence you may have

You and the judge will have a conversation. The judge may ask you a few questions, but it won’t be like a cross-examination. The judge will let you know if there’s anything that might help you qualify for the VA benefits in your claim, like getting a VA medical exam. Your representative, if you have one, may help you at the hearing.

How long will the hearing take?

It depends. Most hearings take less than 30 minutes. But your hearing will last as long as you need to discuss your appeal with the judge.

Will the judge make a decision on my appeal at the hearing?

No. The Board reviews cases in the order they’re received. The judge will begin work on your appeal when it’s among the oldest appeals ready for their review.

The Board will create a transcript of your hearing and add this to your appeal file. The Board will ask if you’d like a copy of the transcript for your personal records. The judge will review the hearing transcript along with all the other evidence in your file when they make a decision on your appeal.