What is a VA Form 10182 and a Decision Review Request (Notice of Disagreement to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (BVA))?
The Decision Review Request is often referred to as a Notice of Disagreement. The 2019 Appeals Modernization Act (AMA) created three lanes for VA appeals matters. However, after the initial rating decision, some Veterans opt for the higher-level review.
This is when a more experienced Claims Examiner most often from the same office looks at the disability claim with fresh eyes. But, no new evidence can be submitted. Other Veterans file supplemental claims. This avenue is good for Veterans with new evidence. Still, others file Form 10182 and initiate a direct appeal to the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA).
A direct appeal to the BVA takes a Veteran’s claim to the top level of appeal available within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) agency. The employees that work at the Board are licensed attorneys and often have more flexibility in applying legal analysis to the evidence.
Although this option will take longer than the lower level appeals at the Regional Office (RO), especially for complicated cases, the BVA is often where a Veteran will succeed in their claim.
A VA disability attorney will handle BVA appeals from start to finish. The attorney reviews your case, including the reasons for the denial. Then gives you solid advice about which appeals avenue is best. Further, a VA disability attorney will present persuasive arguments to the BVA to support your claim and increase the likelihood of success.
Types of BVA Hearings
The AMA is all about increasing choices for Veterans and speeding claims through the process. So, there are several different approaches available when Veterans opt for BVA.appeals. These are:
- Direct Review Lane: This lane does not allow for additional evidence to be submitted. But it does allow a written legal argument intended to persuade the BVA to grant the appeal. It is the fastest of the three options since the Board does not have to wait for any new evidence or a hearing. This option is usually a good choice when the evidence is there to support the claim. Yet the lower-level adjudicators did not properly apply the legal principles to that evidence.
- Evidence-Based Lane: This appeal allows for additional submission of evidence to support the claim. It also allows written legal arguments in support of the appeal. If the Veteran has additional evidence to support the claim, an Evidence-Based lane is a good option. If the additional evidence was obtained after the rating decision.
- Hearing Request Lane: This option is the most like the traditional BVA appeal under the process prior to the enactment of the AMA. The Veteran is able to submit new evidence, legal written argument, and present oral testimony at a hearing. The hearing is not a trial but having an experienced VA disability attorney to present the case to the BVA judge is important. This helps to ensure the legal arguments in support of an appeal are correctly raised. Because this allows for all options to be presented to the BVA. This option does take the longest time. Yet it may be the best choice depending on the Veteran’s claim history.
What to Expect at a BVA Hearing
The Board of Veterans Appeals is located in Washington, D.C. However, claimants do not need to travel there. There are multiple options for how a BVA hearing can be conducted.
The claimant can choose from several options for the hearing:
- In-person in DC
- In-person at a local RO (known as “Travel Board” hearing)
- Via teleconference at a local RO
- Or (thanks to COVID-19) via the claimant’s own audio/video-enabled device (known as “Virtual Board” hearing).
So far, the last option is proving very popular and is greatly expediting the timing of Board hearings.
The BVA does not issue its decision on the spot. Instead, the judges consider these cases for several weeks or even several months. Based on this review, the BVA judge will issue a particular decision for each condition contained in the claim on appeal.
The BVA decision can be a: denial; grant; or remand. Or a combination of the three. A Denial upholds the prior decisions on all conditions on appeal. A Grant reverses the prior decision on all conditions on appeal. A Remand sends the appealed conditions back to the RO for further development and to re-adjudicate the claim.
If the judge grants any part of the claim, it will often remand for the RO to assess the severity of the disability and issue a rating decision that determines the compensation amount, which will include a retroactive payment from the date of the filing of the claim.
If you disagree with the BVA’s decision, an appeal to the Court of Appeals for Veterans Affairs, which is the highest VA appeals court, might be possible.
Count on Dedicated Attorneys
A BVA appeal might be the best way to obtain the benefits you deserve. For a free consultation with an experienced Veterans disability lawyer, contact the Cameron Firm, P.C. at 800-861-7262 or fill out the contact box to your right. We are here to represent Veterans nationwide.
This article is for educational and marketing purposes only. Therefore, it does not create an attorney-client relationship.