VA moves benefits hearings online following passage of new modernization act

The VA is moving more services online. A recent law allowed veterans to appear before benefit hearings remotely.
Department of Veterans Affairs, VA
(Getty Images)

The Department of Veterans Affairs has moved appeals hearings for veterans’ benefits online, following moves to expand other online services during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Virtual board hearings were piloted last year but became a permanent option for veterans following the signing of the VA Tele-Hearing Modernization Act on April 10. Board hearings decide the level of benefits veterans are entitled to and settle disputes over services. The VA has pushed to migrate as many of its services online as possible, to limit person-to-person contact and to ensure its network of health care facilities has enough free space to respond to COVID-19 cases.

“Providing Veterans the option to participate in their Board hearings from a location of their choosing is yet another way VA and the Board are continuing to modernize,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “This option helps VA ensure Veterans continue to receive important benefits and services, especially in these difficult times.”

So far the VA held more than 640 virtual hearings and has the capacity to hold 250 per week, according to the release. Veterans have several options on how to connect to a hearing, including the VA Video Connect app that is also used for tele-health services.

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