Depending on the circumstances, yes, your appeal to the Board of Veterans Appeals, often called the “BVA” or the “Board” for short, can be expedited by filing a motion to Advance on the Docket.
Why Would I Need to File a Motion to Advance on the Docket?
Appealing to the BVA may be necessary in certain circumstances, such as when Supplemental Claims and Higher Level Reviews have failed. For complicated matters, the BVA may be the best option from the outset of the appeals process, but in other situations, appeals at the Regional Office, such as Higher Level Reviews or Supplemental Claims may make more sense. Andrew Gross, an experienced Veterans Benefits Attorney, can assist you in planning your appeals process and figuring out which appeal lane is right for you.
Although the BVA is good at sorting through more complicated issues, there is a significant backlog of cases. Even if a Veteran picks the fastest lane – the direct review lane – it can take anywhere from 12 to 24 months or more before the BVA renders a decision. The Evidence Submission and Hearing lanes can add months on to the process. If the BVA remands a case back to the regional office for additional exams or development, the time frame can stretch out even further.
In What Circumstances can you request the BVA Advances your case on the Docket?
In certain cases, you can request the BVA “Advance (your case) on the Docket.” Once a case has been docketed at the BVA, it will ordinarily be heard in the order it was received. In cases of unusual hardship or “other sufficient cause,” the VA, upon written motion, moves a file up in the queue. Some of these reasons include:
- Severe financial hardship, such as pending bankruptcy, home foreclosure, or homeless.
- Serious illness
- Advanced age (defined as 75 years old or more)
- Administrative error resulting in a significant delay in docketing your appeal.
- Natural disaster
Administrative error generally means that there was some sort of problem in the actual docketing of the appeal. It does not include the common errors seen in VA Rating Decisions.
Contact Experienced Veterans Benefits Attorney, Andrew P. Gross for Assistance
The process for submitting a “Motion to Advance on the Docket” is not complicated. A letter stating the reasons why the appeal needs to be moved up should be submitted to the BVA. Crafting a compelling motion, however, and knowing what to include, and how to best prevail on a Motion to Advance on the Docket is something that an experienced Veterans Benefits Attorney can assist with. Contact the Law Office of Andrew P. Gross, LLC to learn more about how a seasoned attorney can help you.