Thursday, October 22, 2009

VA adds four new judges

In hope of speeding up the claims and reviews process VA to add four new judges
Four New Judges Will Speed Veterans' Appeals


WASHINGTON Oct. 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Eric K. Shinseki announced the addition of four new Veterans Law Judges to the
Board of Veterans' Appeals (BVA), which will enable the board to increase the
number of cases being decided.


"Veterans have earned the right to prompt, exhaustive and professional review
of their claims for benefits," Secretary Shinseki said. "This expansion of BVA
will enable Veterans to receive more expeditious decisions on their appeals."


BVA is an appeals body to which Veterans, their dependents or their survivors
can go when they are not satisfied with decisions about claims for benefits
administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). BVA reviews
decisions on benefit claims made by local VA offices and issues decisions on
appeals. The board currently has 60 Veterans Law Judges.


These law judges are attorneys experienced in Veterans law and in reviewing
benefit claims. They are the only ones who can issue BVA decisions. Staff
attorneys, also trained in Veterans law, review the facts of each appeal and
assist the board members.


In fiscal year 2008, the board decided 43,757 appeals and handled 48,804 cases
in fiscal year 2009. Most of the cases involve claims for disability
compensation and pensions.


"We must foster a responsive approach when we consider Veterans," Shinseki
said. "Reducing the backlog of benefits decisions and waiting times are
essential to providing our Veterans and their families with the service they
deserve."


VA provides a pamphlet entitled, How Do I Appeal, to anyone who is not
satisfied with the results of a benefits claim that was decided by a VA
regional office, medical center or another local VA office. The pamphlet
explains the steps involved in filing an appeal. For more information about
BVA or to download a copy of the pamphlet, visit www.va.gov/vbs/bva.




SOURCE U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Public Affairs, +1-202-461-7600

Jerald Terwilliger
National Chairman
American Cold War Veterans, Inc.
"We Remember"