In today’s high-tech society, we conduct much of our day-to-day business online. The VA has been slow to adapt to a globally connected world, but now offers Veterans the option of a virtual appeal hearing. These hearings are ideal for Veterans who live outside the country, as well as those throughout the United States who have conditions that make traveling difficult. They follow the same procedures as any other Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA) hearing, but are held using the VA’s tel-hearing system so no travel is needed.
Virtual hearings were made possible through the passage of the Tele-hearing Modernization Act in early 2020. This measure was intended to provide added flexibility for Veterans while helping to slow the spread of COVID-19.
How to Request a Virtual Hearing
If you want to request a virtual hearing, select option 11C in the section titled “Hearing with a Veterans Law Judge” when you are completing Form 10182 (Notice of Disagreement).
You will receive confirmation of the date and time of your hearing, as well as the required login information, within 30 days of when it is scheduled. You should check your email spam folder periodically, as some Veterans have reported this message being filtered incorrectly by their email provider.
You can attend your hearing with your attorney in the same room or your attorney can log in from a separate location. If you wish, you may have a caregiver or family member listen in as well.
If you are familiar with Zoom meetings or other types of videoconference applications, the VA virtual hearing is not difficult to understand. However, the VA recommends the following:
- It is recommended that you attend your hearing using a laptop or personal computer. You can use a smartphone or tablet, but the quality of the connection may be less than ideal. Do not use a public access device such as a library computer.
- You should use Google Chrome to use to access your virtual hearing, but Microsoft’s Edge browser will work if Google Chrome is not available. There is no pre-hearing application download needed if you’re on an Android device, but you will need to download the VA Video Connect application in advance if you’re using an Apple device.
- Choose a quiet location for your hearing and use earbuds or headphones to block out any ambient noise.
- If you experience technical difficulties, you should ask for help via the chat function of the teleconference platform. Alternatively, you can call the National Telehealth Technology Help Desk (NTTHD) at 855-519-7116.
Speak to a Veterans Benefits Attorney Today
The office of Sean Kendall, Attorney-at-Law, can increase your chances of a successful appeal by helping you document your disability and its service connection in accordance with VA regulations. We encourage all interested Veterans to take advantage of the virtual hearing option for their appeal and can advise you on the best way to prepare for the experience. To learn more, contact us to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation.