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Sean Kendall

Board of Veterans' Appeals on pace to decide 48,000 cases in 2014

The Board is deciding more cases this year, and is set to decide approximately 48,000 cases this year if it keeps on pace with the number of cases it has decided in the first five months of fiscal year 2014.  In 2013, the Board only decided 41,000, which has led to increasing backlogs for veterans waiting for a decision from Washington DC based Board of Veterans' Appeals (BVA).  The new report released by the Board shows that there is an increase of 7,000 cases for this year.  However, this increase is unlikley to effect the backlog of appeals pending before the Board, and it still takes over 800 days for the Board to reach a decision on an appeal after the Regional Office certifies the appeal.  

The new report also shows that attorneys continue to win a higher percentage of cases than service organizations, such as Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) and Disabled America Veterans (DAV).  This relects the fact that attorneys offer better representation in certain cases, ussually by claims file review and the introduction of expert witness testimony.  The service organizations simply lack the time and resources to prepare cases where a grant of benefits depends on an expert witness testifying on a veteran's behalf.