Denver veterans appealing to the Board of Veterans' Appeals (BVA) face long wait times in their appeals. This month the Denver Regional Office presented to my office detailed statistics on just how many cases are pending. Appeals to the BVA only are completed after a veteran receives a Statement of the Case (SOC) from the Regional Office and files a VA Form 9 within 60 days.
As of November 2014, there are 2,100 appeals hearings pending before the Denver Regional Office. These hearings were all requested on VA Form 9's. Of thos hearing requests, 1,925 are older than June 1, 2014. Each year, the Denver VA is allocated about 400 to 450 hearing slots. Thus, from these statistics, it is evident that requesting a hearing in Denver after filing a VA Form 9 means waiting at least a four years for a hearing. These statistics were compiled by the Director of the Denver Regional Office, Renaye Murphy.
Frankly, these statistics are baloney. The BVA is statutorily required to decide all cases in date order, which means that Denver is going to have to, under the statute, make more hearing slots available, otherwise the BVA will not be able to decide other cases that do not have hearings; a case with the same appeal date but without a hearing is not permitted to be decided before a case with a hearing. It is unlikely that the BVA will allot only 450 slots a year when it reaches a point where non-hearing cases with the same appeal date are ready to be decided but hearing cases have not yet had their hearing.