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Bva Hearing Notice

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I received a letter today from thr VA, Manila, telling me i will have a videoconference hearing on OCT,13,2006. it also states that the BVA has adopted a "trailing docket" method of scheduling their hearings.rather than assigning a specific appointment for each claiment to meet the board member, a group of claimants will be ask to assemble at a cetain time and each will be taken in turn for their hearingas soon as the preceding person's hearing concludes, they are allowing only [15] minutes to [45] minutes per hearing, this sounds fishing to me, what if you need more time, like me i have one claim that goes back [9] years.

My question is will the BVA have my record sent to them by Va, Manila before the hearing, so that the BVA can see my record and evidence for each of my claims. the also sent with this letter a "ATTACHMENT " "A" that i have to send back to them withing a month, checking one of two boxes.

[1] I will be available on this day for my hearing


[2] I will not be available on this date. I understand that a hearing is not mandatory. Please certify my case to BVA, I no longer want a hearing

Is this how thing are done with a BVA hearing, it states that my hearing will be before a Veteran's Law Judge in Washington, DC.

All input would be appreceiated.


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  • HadIt.com Elder

I had three Hearings and they always allowed me to say all that I wanted. However they were Hearings that were live. O suggest that you prepare your presentation and if asked a question defer it to after you have had your say. Your Service Officer should help you.

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I can only add my opinions based on my husbands BVA hearing. He had a travel board hearing, but I think, basically, the travel board hearing and the videoconference hearing are basically the same. The law judge is just in a different location for the hearing.

First, I would never opt out of a BVA hearing, except under extenuating circumstances. You may not get another chance and if you do, it may takes years to get it.

Your file must be sent to the BVA prior to your hearing and this must be available to them. How much they review it ahead of time is anyone's guess. During my husbands review, it didn't appear that the law judge knew much of anything about my husbands claims, even though they had his file in front of them, but he was alloted plenty of time to explain everything. Then again, he had a scheduled hearing and not a trailing docket. In fact, I was surprised that there were actually veterans who were scheduled on the day my husband had his hearing and they failed to show up. Because of this, we were taken ahead of our scheduled time and I am sure this is why we had more time for my husbands hearing. Please be early because the same could happen in your case. There may be veterans who don't show up at the last minute. They could then call you early and as an end result give you more time for your hearing.

As Pete stated, try to prepare yourself as much as possible ahead of the meeting. This is very important. Also, since there are many law judges hearing veterans cases, a lot can also depends on who you get. We really lucked out and got a great law judge who made us feel very comfortable in the hearing. She also stayed focused the whole time on what we were saying and asked a lot of questions. I had the most important evidence with us during the hearing and was able to pull information from our files when the law judge seemed stumped on things we were discussing. I think it really helped when I was able to immediatey show them what they could never have found that quick in his VARO file and in the end, I think, this was a big help in the deciding factor of his claims. I think the more evidence you can show them without them having to try to find it in your folder themselves, the better off you are. It keeps the flow of the meeting moving better and they get to see the evidence first hand while you are speaking.

Also, while you are in the meeting, you are being taped, therefore, try to speak very distinctly. If you are not sure that the information, such as a doctors name, will be picked up correctly, state the name and then spell it. In the end, this tape will be transcibed into a paper document. The person doing this is relying on what they hear and is not necessarily what was said. After getting a copy of my husbands transcription, I couldn't believe what was documented and what was actually said. But, there was really nothing transcribed wrong that was bad enough that could have an impact on the final decision. Remember, the BVA will be using the transcribed version of your hearing in making their decision. You can also request a copy of the transciption for your records.

A BVA hearing is no different than anything else with the VA process. A lot depends on who you get and how prepared you are with the evidence that you have. If you feel that your evidence is not quite as good as you would like for it to be, then you must show that what you are presenting at least would fall under the "benefit of the doubt rule". You may have very good evidence, but you also must be prepared ahead of time for any direction that the meeting may go.

I know things will go well for you and I do wish you the best of luck. I hope that maybe I helped you a little from the experience that we have had. Maybe others here can tell you of their experiences and then you can make your choice on how you will prepare yourself.


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Patrick-if you could get hold of a copy of the VBM published by NVLSP-they have considerable information on BVA hearings to include Video conferences-

If you have any new or relevant evidence with you and this evidence can be held up to the video monitor for the VLJ to see it, (Veterans LAw Hudge in Washington),then documented, and presented as part of the the video-

This conference should somehow acknowledge the evidence that VA already has- bring a list of whatever you have already sent and a copy of what you have already sent, and also bring anything new that you want the Law Judge to put into the record.

I suggest you watch a live court trial on CNN-

the lawyer will describe the evidence, and then approach the clerk for it to be marked into the record-

this conference however is to identify what evidence they have already and gives one more opportunity to add more evidence into the record.

The VLJ can also leave the record open for any additional evidence that you describe but do not yet have to put up to the moniter.

If the VLJ does not offer to keep the record open for new evidence -ask him/her to do this-

but tell them what evidence you are going to submit and when you can submit it.

I would not worry where the c file is at this point because this is only a hearing-not a time for a decision-

The video cameras can zoom in on documents or scars, whatever-

Patrick-I advise you to leave the picture that you emailed me years ago-at home-

that picture can hurt your claim.

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Most of my ratings have come as a result of BVA decisions. My most recent resulted in a 20% increase. It was a video session with a suit in DC. It was conducted in New Orleans which is about a 200 mile drive. It was very informal and when he was done asking questions he said it was my turn and to take as much time as I needed.

Since I live with my disabilities 24/7 it wasn't hard to relate how they impacted on my quality of life. Like I said, it was very informal and he didn't talk down to me. I also had my American Legion rep with me.

The BVA will have your C-file before hand with all pertinent info.

The bad news is it was almost a year before I got the decision. It was made retro to 2001 but I am retired military so no back pay. I can file amended tax returns for three years but don't know if I want stir up the beast.

Last, go for it. Don't miss an opportunity to present your case at the BVA level. They seem to favor the vet more times than not.

Edited by Moe (see edit history)
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Do you live in Manila, Phillipines? WOW. I didn't know the VA serviced the Phillipines. I was there in 1989 on vacation at Camp John Haye in the mountains. All of that is now closed and turned-back to the Phillipine government. I served in Vietnam, 1968, and the Phillipines are so closely remenise of Vietnam.... poverty, etc. Its quite a place.... and I am grateful to have been able to visit there. I went on free "Environment and Morale Leave (EML) flights to various locations in the far-east. One location was the Phillipines. I was a US federal civil service employee (civilian) working for the US Army in Japan.
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