Wood & Smith Legal Services, LLC

Need to Reschedule Your BVA Hearing?

gavel

Has your hearing before the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (BVA) been scheduled, but you need to reschedule it?  If so, you may request a different date for your hearing, but you will need a strong reason for requesting the date change.

When Should You Make Your Request?

Under 38 CFR § 20.704 Rule 704(c), requests for a change of hearing date “may be made at any time up to two weeks prior to the scheduled date of the hearing if good cause is shown (emphasis added).

What is “good cause”?

Not having your C-file, if you have made attempts to obtain it, may be a strong reason for requesting a reschedule.  A medical emergency is also usually a strong reason.

The regulation specifically mentions the following examples of good cause: “illness of the appellant and/or representative, difficulty in obtaining necessary records, and unavailability of a necessary witness.

Arguing that the original hearing date is scheduled for your usual lunch time is not generally going to be considered “good cause.”  When requesting a rehearing, you need to provide solid reasons that you need to reschedule it.

Remember: Just because you request a different date for your hearing doesn’t mean your request will be granted.

What are the requirements for the request to reschedule?

  • As previously mentioned, the request must be in writing (either typed or handwritten).
  • The request must be made no later than two weeks before the scheduled hearing date.
  • The request must detail why you need a different hearing date.  Simply requesting to reschedule is not enough.
  • According to the wording of the regulation, the request “must be filed with the office of the official of the Department of Veterans Affairs who signed the notice of the original hearing date.“  This may be a challenge.  The most recent BVA hearing notice I have seen did not contain a signature.  In this situation, you could send the written request to a) the address provided at the back of your BVA hearing notice where the letter indicates all correspondence is to be sent, and/or b) to your regional VA director.

If it is at all possible to attend your originally scheduled BVA hearing, this is probably better than requesting to reschedule it.  Sometimes life happens, though, and when it does, your request for a reschedule may be granted.

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