Board of Veterans’ Appeals Expands Use of Virtual Hearings in Early 2020
PUBLISHED BY: David W. Magann, PA
Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) January 13, 2019 – The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Board of Veterans’ Appeals (Board) and Office of Information and Technology (OIT) plan to launch the availability of virtual hearings before the Board in 2020. The Board makes final decisions in appeals of cases involving veterans’ benefits and services.
Veterans will be able to participate in Board hearings via their mobile phones or laptops using the VA Video Connect app from the comforts of their homes. Currently, veterans must go the Board hearings in Washington, D.C., or to a VA facility that has video capability. The nearest VA facility may be hours from veterans’ homes, disrupting their work schedule and resulting in veterans having to make last-minute travel plans.
Virtual hearing technology uses the tele-health platform, which offers great health alternatives for veterans. The tele-health platform allows veterans to communicate with VA providers and send important health information from their homes or mobile devices. In clinics, VA providers can connect with VA health specialists around the country. In hospitals, VA providers around the country collaborate to improve the health care provided to veterans. In fiscal year 2019, over 900,000 veterans used the tele-health platform, a 17 percent hike from the prior fiscal year.
The expansion of virtual hearings before the Board represents another effort by the VA to take advantage of technology to modernize veterans’ experience. A result of virtual Board hearings is an expected increase in the number of hearings and the timeliness of Board decisions. Virtual hearings can reduce the number of hearings that have to be cancelled or rescheduled.
Practical examples of the benefits of virtual hearings include veterans participating in virtual hearings from hospital beds. With multiple connections, the veterans’ representatives can participate from regional offices, while veterans’ law judges preside in Washington, D.C. Veterans can participate in virtual hearings when their health or work schedules prevent travel to the nearest VA facility.
Virtual hearing testing started in July 2019. The Board cooperated with the OIT, Veteran Service Organizations and advocates across the nation in rolling out the technology. As of December 2019, the Board has held 155 virtual hearings.
Learn more at http://www.tampaveteranslawyer.com/Learn more at http://www.tampaveteranslawyer.com/ David W. Magann, P.A. Main Office: 156 West Robertson Street Brandon, FL 33511 Call: (813) 657-9175 Tampa Office: 18715 N Dale Mabry Hwy Lutz, FL 33548