Continued evaluation of testing will broaden scope of participation
News Release, US Department of Veteran Affairs
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Board of Veterans’ Appeals (Board) and Office of Information and Technology (OIT) are working towards nationwide availability of virtual hearings for Veterans next year, allowing access using their mobile phone or laptop via the VA Video Connect app.
The virtual hearings are based on the Veterans Health Administration’s tele-health platform and lets Veterans participate in their appeals hearings from the comfort of their homes.
“VA strives to provide integrated solutions that leverage 21st-century technology to significantly increase the number of hearings completed annually,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “Giving Veterans the ability to participate in secure, confidential virtual hearings is another aspect of VA’s modernization to provide Veterans with the ultimate customer experience.”
The testing of virtual hearings began in July 2019. The collaboration with OIT, Veteran Service Organizations, and other Veteran representatives has been positive. To date, the Board has held 155 successful virtual hearings. Veterans who otherwise would have had to cancel their hearings were able to participate in virtual hearings and receive decisions.
The Board of Veterans’ Appeals (Board) makes final decisions for the VA regarding appeals for Veterans’ benefits and services. The Board’s mission is to conduct hearings and issue timely decisions for Veterans and other appellants in compliance with the law.