Veteranclaims’s Blog

November 29, 2013

BVA Processing Times 2012; REPORT OF THE CHAIRMAN, Fiscal Year 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — veteranclaims @ 5:18 pm

The PDF of this report can be found here:
http://www.bva.va.gov/docs/Chairmans_Annual_Rpts/BVA2011AR.pdf

Excerpts from Report below:

In Fiscal Year 2012, the Board issued 44,300 decisions and conducted 12,334 hearings. The Board’s
cycle time, which measures the time from the date an appeal is physically received at the Board
until a decision is dispatched (excluding the time the case is with a co-located Veterans Service
Organization (VSO) representative for review and preparation of written argument) was 117 days,

down from 119 days in Fiscal Year 2011. The Board physically received 49,611 appeals in Fiscal Year 2012. Based on trends in case receipts developed jointly by BVA and VA’s Office of Management, the Board expects to receive 54,033 appeals in Fiscal Year 2013, which includes new appeals from the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), remanded cases returning from VBA’s Appeals Management Center (AMC) and the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC), and appeals from other elements of VA, to include the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), OGC, and NCA.
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In addition to dispatching 44,300 decisions in Fiscal Year 2012, the Board’s administrative support
staff reviewed and processed 54,216 pieces of mail,
which represents an increase of more than 10,000 pieces above the Fiscal Year 2011 level. The administrative staff, including the Board’s call center in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, also answered 103,046 inquiries from Veterans or their representatives by phone, email, or written correspondence, up from 95,626 in Fiscal Year 2011.
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Page 1
REPORT OF THE CHAIRMAN
Fiscal Year 2012
U.S. Department of Veterans A airs
Board of Veterans’ Appeals

Page 2

DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS
Acting Chairman, Board of Veterans’ Appeals
Washington, DC 20420
February 04, 2013
The Honorable Eric K. Shinseki
Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Department of Veterans Affairs
810 Vermont Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20420

Dear Mr. Secretary:
I am pleased to present the Fiscal Year 2012 Annual Report of the Board of Veterans’ Appeals
(Board or BVA) for inclusion in your submission to Congress. Information on the activities of the
Board during Fiscal Year 2012 and the projected activities of the Board for Fiscal Years 2013 and
2014, as required by 38 U.S.C. § 7101(d)(1), are provided in Parts I and II.

During Fiscal Year 2012, the Board produced over 44,000 decisions and conducted over 12,000
personal hearings. Although Veterans benefits law continued to evolve, the Board’s employees never
lost sight of the mission to produce timely, quality decisions for the Veterans we serve. Nor did they
lose sight of our obligation to treat Veterans and their families with care and compassion, and to
approach each appeal with integrity, commitment, advocacy, respect, and excellence.
I offer the enclosed report to provide you, Congress, and the Veterans we serve with an
accurate and meaningful perspective on the Board’s activities of Fiscal Year 2012.
Very respectfully,
Steven L. Keller
Acting Chairman
Enclosure
Page 3

Table of Contents
Page
INTRODUCTION ………………………………………………………………………….. 1
PART I ………………………………………………………………………………………….. 3
ACTIVITIES OF THE BOARD OF VETERANS’ APPEALS
FISCAL YEAR 2012 ………………………………………………………………………. 3
Successes ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 4
Succession Planning ……………………………………………………………………….. 5
The Board’s Goals for Fiscal Years 2013 and 2014 ……………………………. 6
1. Reduce the Backlog …………………………………………………………….. 6
2. Advocate for Legislative Initiatives ……………………………………….. 8
3. Increase Use of Video Teleconference Hearings …………………… 9
4. Efficiently Adjudicate Paperless Appeals ………………………………. 9
Significant Judicial Precedent and Its Effect on the Board ………………….. 9
Coordination with VBA Regional Offices, VHA, NCA and OGC ………….. 12
Veterans Service Organization (VSO) Forums and Training ………………. 13
Volunteer Activities …………………………………………………………………………. 13
Planning for the Future …………………………………………………………………… 14
BOARD MEMBERS ………………………………………………………………………. 15
PART II …………………………………………………………………………………………. 16
STATISTICAL DATA ……………………………………………………………………. 16
PROJECTIONS FOR FISCAL YEARS 2013 AND 2014 ………………….. 20
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ……………………………………………………. 21
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INTRODUCTION
The law requires the Chairman to report the activities of the Board at the conclusion of each fiscal year.
As Acting Chairman, Mr. Keller presents this Annual Report, which includes two parts: Part I provides
a discussion of BVA activities during Fiscal Year 2012 and projected activities for Fiscal Years 2013
and 2014; Part II provides statistical information related to BVA activities during Fiscal Year 2012 and
projected activities for Fiscal Years 2013 and 2014.

The Board renders final decisions on behalf of the Secretary on appeals from decisions of local
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offices. The Board reviews all appeals for entitlement to
Veterans’ benefits, including claims for service connection, increased disability ratings, total
disability ratings, pension, insurance benefits, educational benefits, home loan guaranties, vocational
rehabilitation, dependency and indemnity compensation, health care delivery, and fiduciary matters.
The Board’s mission is to conduct hearings and issue timely, understandable, and quality decisions
for Veterans and other Appellants in compliance with the requirements of law.
Department of Veterans Affairs
Fiscal Year 2012
Veterans Law Judges
Page 5
Blank Page
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PART I
ACTIVITIES OF THE
BOARD OF VETERANS’ APPEALS
FISCAL YEAR 2012
The Board was established in 1933 and operates by authority of, and functions pursuant to,
Chapter 71 of Title 38, United States Code. The Board consists of a Chairman, Vice Chairman,
Principal Deputy Vice Chairman, 64 Veterans Law Judges (VLJs) (including 12 VLJ managers),
twelve Senior Counsel, a Medical Advisor, more than 300 staff counsel, and other administrative
and clerical staff. The Chairman reports directly to the VA Secretary. The Board has jurisdiction
over appeals arising from various Agencies of Original Jurisdiction (AOJs), to include the VA
Regional Offices (ROs), VA Medical Centers (VAMCs), the National Cemetery Administration
(NCA), and the Office of General Counsel (OGC). The vast majority (approximately 96 percent)
of appeals considered involve claims for disability compensation or survivor benefits. Examples
of other types of appeals that are addressed by the Board include fee basis medical care, waiver of
recovery of overpayments, reimbursement for emergency medical treatment expenses, education
assistance benefits, vocational rehabilitation training, burial benefits, and insurance benefits.
The Board consists of an Office of the Chairman; the Appellate Group; an Office of Management,
Planning and Analysis (MPA); and four Decision Teams. The Office of the Chairman consists of a
Chairman and his Executive Assistant, a Vice Chairman (Senior Executive Service (SES)/VLJ), and
his Special Assistant, and other legal support staff. The Board’s Appellate Group consists of the
Principal Deputy Vice Chairman (SES/VLJ), the Chief Counsel for Policy and Procedure (Senior
Level (SL)), the Chief Counsel for Operations (SL), the Chief of Litigation Support, the Chief of
Quality Review, the Chief of the Office of Learning and Knowledge Management (Training Office),
a Medical Advisor, a Counsel for Labor Relations, several Special Counsel covering a variety of
legal specialty areas, and numerous legal support personnel. MPA is the administrative directorate
of the Board, consisting of the Director (SES), the Deputy Director, the Administrative Support
Division, the Decision Team Support Division, the Financial Management Division, and Office
of Outside Medical Opinions. Each Decision Team consists of a Deputy Vice Chairman (VLJ),
two Chief VLJs, 13 VLJs, two Senior Counsel, and approximately 75 staff counsel. Staff counsel
review the record on appeal, research the applicable law, and prepare comprehensive draft decisions
or remand orders for consideration by a VLJ who reviews the draft and issues the final decision or
appropriate preliminary order in the appeal.

The Board always strives to improve its operations, quality, and efficiency, while remaining aligned
with the Secretary’s strategic goals. Pursuant to this objective, in order to enhance integration and
efficiency within the Board, effective Fiscal Year 2013, BVA plans to implement enhancements to
the management structure of the VLJ and attorney staff. The flattened, tighter configuration will
consist of two Deputy Vice Chairmen (instead of four) who will have broader strategic functions
within BVA, ten Chief VLJs (instead of eight) who will have a tighter span of control, and ten Senior
Counsel (instead of eight) to assist the Chief VLJs and Deputy Vice Chairmen.
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In Fiscal Year 2012, the Board issued 44,300 decisions and conducted 12,334 hearings. The Board’s
cycle time, which measures the time from the date an appeal is physically received at the Board
until a decision is dispatched (excluding the time the case is with a co-located Veterans Service
Organization (VSO) representative for review and preparation of written argument) was 117 days,
down from 119 days in Fiscal Year 2011. The Board physically received 49,611 appeals in
Fiscal Year 2012. Based on trends in case receipts developed jointly by BVA and VA’s Office of
Management, the Board expects to receive 54,033 appeals in Fiscal Year 2013, which includes new
appeals from the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), remanded cases returning from VBA’s
Appeals Management Center (AMC) and the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC), and appeals
from other elements of VA, to include the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), OGC, and NCA.

Successes
As noted, the Board issued 44,300 decisions in Fiscal Year 2012. While this represented a slight
decrease from Fiscal Year 2011, the Board’s decrease in productivity in Fiscal Year 2012 is
primarily a function of a reduction in full time equivalent (FTE) employees. The Board carried
an average of 510 FTE during Fiscal Year 2012, down from 535 FTE in Fiscal Year 2011. The
Board effectuated this decrease through attrition, to prepare for operating in the constrained fiscal
environment affecting the entire federal government in Fiscal Year 2013 and beyond.

The Board conducted 12,334 hearings in Fiscal Year 2012, 40 percent of which were held by video
teleconferencing (also known as video or VTC hearings), representing the highest percentage in
Board history. The Board held its first video hearings with Appellants in the remote sites of Guam
and American Samoa, thereby eliminating a significant travel burden on Appellants in that region.
Most VLJs exceeded their productivity goals and most traveled to at least three ROs to conduct
one week of hearings at each site (known as “Travel Board” hearings). The Board’s overall annual
productivity was possible because of the extraordinary efforts of the VLJs, staff counsel, and
administrative support staff.

In addition to dispatching 44,300 decisions in Fiscal Year 2012, the Board’s administrative support
staff reviewed and processed 54,216 pieces of mail, which represents an increase of more than 10,000
pieces above the Fiscal Year 2011 level. The administrative staff, including the Board’s call center in
Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, also answered 103,046 inquiries from Veterans or their representatives
by phone, email, or written correspondence, up from 95,626 in Fiscal Year 2011.

In Fiscal Year 2012, the Board continued to focus on methods to increase the quality of the decisions
rendered while maintaining a high level of decision output. The Board’s Training Office created
targeted training for all employees based, in part, on trends gleaned from the Board’s quality review
process, as well as based on outcomes in cases heard before the CAVC and the Court of Appeals for
the Federal Circuit (Federal Circuit). In addition, the Board continued to offer medical training for its
staff to address the increasing complexity of disability compensation appeals. The Board anticipates
a long term positive impact from its successful training program, including better quality decision
writing and improved timeliness.
The Board continued efforts to eliminate avoidable remands by engaging other VA stakeholders in the
appeals process, such as VBA, VHA, NCA, and OGC. Partnership was strengthened with leadership
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at each of these organizations by opening lines of communication and coordinating methods to improve
the overall system for the benefit of the Veterans that we serve. The Board also devoted extensive
efforts in assisting the Office of Disability and Medical Assessment (DMA) in working to improve the
compensation and pension examination process in order to improve the quality of examination reports.
Further, the Board worked closely with other VA partners to help transform VA into a 21st century
organization. Specifically, the Board contributed to efforts to develop a new paperless claims and
appeals system for VA by providing valuable input to software developers regarding the laws governing
the system, workflow process, and the particular requirements for adjudicating appeals. BVA also
expanded its presence on eBenefits – a joint venture of VA and the Department of Defense (DoD),
which provides Veterans the opportunity to check the status of their claims and appeals securely online
or from their mobile device. This system has promoted transparency and improved customer service.
Board leadership also continued to strongly promote a variety of legislative proposals aimed at
implementing systemic changes that seek to increase efficiency in the appeals process in a way that
is both fair and beneficial to Veterans. One such BVA legislative proposal was signed into law in
August 2012 as part of the Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families
Act of 2012. Among other things, this law includes a provision that allows the Board, in the
first instance, to consider additional evidence submitted by a claimant (or his/her representative)
simultaneously with or after the filing of a substantive appeal (VA Form 9), unless the claimant (or
his/her representative) requests in writing that the Agency of Original Jurisdiction (AOJ) initially
review such evidence. This provision will improve the efficiency of appeals processing at the AOJ
level and reduce the number of remands, while still protecting Veterans’ rights.
In the upcoming fiscal year, the Board will continue to challenge its employees to maintain high
productivity while increasing the high level of quality that was achieved in Fiscal Year 2012. The
Board’s decisions achieved over a 91 percent accuracy rate, which quantifies substantive factual and
legal deficiencies in all decisions, whether an allowance, a remand, or a denial. Quality deficiencies
that are identified during the quality review process are addressed through appropriate follow-up
training for the VLJs and attorneys.

Succession Planning
In addition to 64 VLJs (which includes 12 VLJs who serve in a management capacity), the Board
has three SES positions and two SL positions. The three SES positions are the Vice Chairman,
the Principal Deputy Vice Chairman, and the Director of MPA. Notably, in addition to their SES
duties, the Vice Chairman and Principal Deputy Vice Chairman also serve as VLJs, although this
VLJ status is separate and apart from the 64 authorized VLJs. The two SL positions are the Chief
Counsel for Policy and Procedure and the Chief Counsel for Operations. These positions continue
to allow the Board to recruit the best and the brightest to manage Board operations and are critically
important in the increasingly complex world of Veterans’ benefits appellate adjudication. Since
the implementation of judicial review, the complexity and length of BVA decisions has increased
tremendously. Additionally, the number of claims filed at ROs and VAMCs continues to increase
significantly. The Board’s workload is also projected to increase proportionally to the anticipated
increase in workload at AOJs in future fiscal years. The Board stands ready to meet the intensified
requirements of the claims adjudication and appeals system.
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The Board has eight Senior Counsel positions on the Decision Teams, three specialized Senior
Counsel positions in the Appellate Group, and one in the Chairman’s Office. These positions provide
the necessary flexibility to maintain productivity despite short-term personnel shortages and also
allow the Board’s current leaders to train and mentor future leaders. Senior Counsel perform as
Acting VLJs as authorized by 38 U.S.C. § 7101(c)(1)(A). They also function as Team Leaders and
attorneys drafting some of the most complex decisions. In addition, Senior Counsel mentor and
evaluate more junior attorneys and supervise more experienced attorneys in need of special attention
or assistance. In the Appellate Group, three of the Senior Counsel are also responsible for leading the
Board’s quality review and training programs, as well as the Office of Litigation Support.
Additionally, in Fiscal Year 2012 the Board redesigned an internal leadership program known as the
“Shadow Program,” which aims to develop the leadership skills of junior attorney and administrative
staff by providing a more global view of BVA and its role within the Department. A week-long
session is offered to staff who are competitively selected to participate, and each selectee gains
exposure to the daily management and operations of the Board. Many components of BVA are
involved in the program, including the Chairman’s Office, MPA, and all parts of the Appellate Group,
to include the Office of Quality Review, the Medical Advisor, Litigation Support, the Training Office,
the Hearing Branch and others.

In matters of recruitment and retention, the Board continues to maintain an in-house program for
all employees regarding issues of diversity and inclusion that illuminates the goals in place for
sustaining a diverse workforce. Because of anticipated fiscal constraints, the pace of the Board’s
normal rigorous recruitment program was slowed. However, during the summer of Fiscal Year 2012,
the Board hired eight interns, which included seven law clerks from diverse law schools throughout
the country and one Presidential Management Fellow (PMF). These interns worked with attorneys
and VLJs to draft decisions and other work products. In addition to completing challenging writing
assignments, they also participated in training activities and were mentored by BVA attorneys. The
Board views this internship program as a recruitment tool, with the aim of creating future interest
in a career at VA. BVA also participated in the VA for Vets hiring expo in January 2012 with great
success; the Board interviewed 56 Veterans seeking employment and hired 23 Veterans through the
program in Fiscal Year 2012. The Board remains able to attract high caliber law clerks, attorneys,
and administrative personnel because the mission to serve Veterans is one that is particularly
desirable to those seeking a career in public service.

The Board’s Goals for Fiscal Years 2013 and 2014
The Board stands ready to meet the challenge of transforming into a 21st century organization that
will reduce the backlog, increase efficiency in the appeals system, and leverage technology to better
serve Veterans. These goals will be achieved through the coordinated efforts of all of our employees,
each of whom maintains the core values of integrity, commitment, advocacy, respect and excellence
in everything we do.
1. Reduce the Backlog
In the coming year, the Board will continue to focus on reducing the backlog using existing resources
by concentrating on the following:
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➢ Eliminating avoidable remands: Fewer remands mean fewer appeals returned to the
originating agency and to the Board and, thus, more timely decisions for Veterans and other
Appellants. In Fiscal Year 2012, the Board continued to work closely with VBA to assist with
the shared goal of resolving appeals at the earliest stages of the appeals process, including
the period when appeals have not yet reached the Board. Specifically, the Board and VBA
conducted four joint supplemental training sessions, which were designed to address complex
and difficult legal areas in the adjudication process. Additionally, the Quality Review staffs of
each organization continued to work together to identify trends and target training to common
issues. The Board also worked with VHA to train the clinicians who provide examinations in
conjunction with compensation claims on the legal requirements of such exams. Combined,
these efforts should help ensure that claims are developed properly at the local level in the
first instance, and ultimately reduce remands.

With regard to those appeals that are remanded, the Board continued to closely track the reasons
for remand, and that data is accessible by all VA components in the adjudication system for
management and training purposes. In addition, the Board’s Quality Review Office continued
to engage in extensive liaison efforts with VBA’s AMC during Fiscal Year 2012 and will
continue to do so in the future. Through this line of communication, the Board and the AMC
addressed and resolved issues pertaining to the proper processing of remands, to include
identifying when an appeal is ready to be returned to the Board for a final decision.

➢ Increasing efficiencies through video teleconference technology: The Board has instituted
efficiencies in its operations, and particularly, in its hearings process. In Fiscal Year 2013 and
beyond, the Board will continue to shift its focus toward utilizing more video teleconference
technology to conduct hearings. The state-of-the-art video equipment provides a crisp,
high-definition picture with clear sound, despite the distance between locations. In Fiscal
Year 2012, all systems were upgraded to a digital audio recording system (DARS), thereby
eliminating the use of traditional cassette tape recordings, and BVA successfully piloted its
new Virtual Docket, which provides electronic tracking and scheduling of all Board hearings.
The Board also created an informational pamphlet that advertises the advantages of video
hearings – this pamphlet is available online and in VBA mailings. While the Board will
continue to travel to field stations each year, those trips will be more limited in number to reduce
travel costs. Relying more on video teleconference technology will reduce the time that Veterans
have to wait for hearings, and will allow VLJs to gain more time in the office to issue decisions.
On average, in Fiscal Year 2012, only 74 percent of Appellants who were scheduled for a Travel
Board hearing reported to the appointment, which results in significant down time for judges
when they are in the field. By contrast, when conducting hearings by video teleconference, VLJs
can easily return to adjudicating other appeals in the office if Appellants do not report.

➢ Strengthening BVA’s intra-agency partnerships: As in previous years, BVA continues to
meet with representatives from VBA, VHA, NCA, and OGC on a monthly basis to discuss
and resolve issues of mutual concern that adversely affect the quality of service provided to
Veterans. The Board will continue to contribute to this partnership and play an active role in
the VA community. Additionally, Board leadership will continue to contribute monthly to the
Executive Synchronization Committee, led by VA’s Chief of Staff, which aims to bring the top
leaders from each organization together to evaluate the benefits process and ensure cooperative
solutions to cross cutting issues.
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➢ Internal training: In Fiscal Year 2012, the Board’s Office of Learning and Knowledge
Management coordinated comprehensive training for Board attorneys and VLJs. Throughout
the past year, the VLJs and attorneys attended courses on topics such as: Traumatic Brain Injury;
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD); Medical Reimbursement; Death Pension & Countable
Income; Education Benefits & Vocational Rehabilitation; Court Trends; and Seven Habits of
Highly Effective People. Continued training efforts in the new Fiscal Year will provide the
VLJs and attorneys with the latest information on a variety of legal and medical topics.

➢ Writing clear, concise, coherent, and correct decisions: The Board’s leadership continued
to stress the value of writing clear, concise, coherent, and correct decisions to the VLJs and
attorneys in Fiscal Year 2012, as evidenced by our 91 percent accuracy rate. The benefits of
this initiative continued to be apparent, as demonstrated by the high volume of decisions the
Board was able to produce, despite a loss in FTE. In the long term, it is expected that this
initiative will enable VLJs and attorneys to continue to improve the quality of Board decisions.

➢ Utilizing a robust Flexiplace Program for employees: The Board’s flexiplace program
enhances employee motivation and satisfaction, as well as decision quality and productivity.
Seven years ago, the Chairman authorized a permanent flexiplace program to permit eligible
attorneys to prepare draft decisions and other work products at their primary residence
(a pilot flexiplace program had been in effect since 1999), and BVA has since served as a
telecommuting model for other offices within the Department. This program enables the Board
to attract and retain attorneys as an employer of choice. In connection with this program, the
Board has successfully implemented a number of data security safeguards, such as encryption
software for Board laptops used by flexiplace program participants and locked cabinets at the
primary residence for the laptop and original claims folders. Each flexiplace participant agrees
to abide by the rules of the program, which include strict safeguards to protect sensitive data.
Participants are not permitted to use their own personal computers for drafting decisions.
In Fiscal Year 2012, over 175 of the Board’s employees (approximately 34 percent)
telecommuted in some capacity.
These measures will work to reduce the appeals backlog and to shorten the time it takes for a Veteran
to receive a fair, well-reasoned Board decision.

2. Advocate for Legislative Initiatives
In Fiscal Year 2012, the Secretary submitted a number of legislative proposals advanced by the Board
to Congress, which seek to streamline and improve timeliness in the processing of Veterans’ benefits
appeals. These proposals included: (1) reducing the time period for initiating an appeal from one
year to 180 days; (2) allowing the Board more flexibility in scheduling video teleconference hearings
in order to reduce the wait time for Veterans and to minimize travel time and expenses related to
conducting in-person Travel Board hearings; (3) amending the statute to make it clear that the filing
of a substantive appeal within 60 days from the date of the mailing of the statement of the case is a
requirement for Board jurisdiction over an appeal; (4) amending the definition of “prevailing party”
for purposes of establishing eligibility to receive fees under the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA)
in order to provide an incentive for increased, continuing attorney representation before the Board;
and (5) amending the definition of “reasons and bases” to mean a plausible statement of the reasons
for the Board’s ultimate findings of fact and conclusions of law. The Board intends to submit similar
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proposals in Fiscal Year 2013, and collectively, such proposals, if passed into law, will result in
improved timeliness and efficiency of VA’s adjudication of claims and appeals, both at the local level
and at the Board level.

3. Increase Use of Video Teleconference Hearings
Related to one of the Board’s legislative proposals outlined above, the Board will leverage technology
to increase the use of video teleconference hearings. The Board and ROs have state-of-the-art
equipment, and the Board’s facility houses 13 video hearing rooms, which can accommodate
increased video hearing requests. It is the Board’s hope that increased outreach about the benefits
of video teleconference technology will draw more Appellants to the video hearing option. Video
teleconference hearings can be scheduled more quickly than in-person hearings, thus reducing wait
times for Appellants who elect this option.

4. Efficiently Adjudicate Paperless Appeals
In Fiscal Year 2012, the Board held 85 hearings with a paperless record, a significant increase from
66 in Fiscal Year 2011, and completed 84 paperless appeals. Since 2008, VA has been processing
Benefits Delivery at Discharge (BDD) claims for separating Servicemembers by using a paperless
claims processing system at ROs in Salt Lake City, Utah, and Winston-Salem, North Carolina. As
more of these unique appeals reach the Board, and as VBA expands the use of the current paperless
system beyond the BDD program, the Board continues to further refine the processes currently in
place to adjudicate these virtual appeals. The Board has worked within the constraints of the current
system and has cataloged the lessons learned along the way. BVA is working with partners at VBA
and Office of Information Technology (OIT) to incorporate its business needs into the development of
the new and upgraded paperless system known as the Veterans Benefits Management System (VBMS).
The Board remains committed to supporting the development of a new, vibrant, and effective paperless
claims and appeals system, as it provides many benefits to Veterans and to VA. In Fiscal Year 2012, BVA
began to review claims files in a hybrid environment consisting of electronic files housed in VA’s current
database, Virtual VA, in conjunction with paper documents. Electronic files are protected from loss
or damage and are securely backed up. In addition, electronic files are not subject to mailing delays
between offices and allow multiple offices to work on the same file simultaneously, preventing the
need for down-time while another office works on a claim. The Board anticipates a significant
increase in paperless appeals in the coming years.
Significant Judicial Precedent and Its Effect on the Board
Throughout Fiscal Year 2012, the CAVC and the Federal Circuit issued many significant decisions.
Among them are the following:

➢ Bond v. Shinseki, 659 F.3d 1362 (Fed. Cir. 2011): In this case, the Appellant filed a claim
for service connection in October 1996, which was granted by the RO in a May 1997
rating decision. In February 1998, within the one-year appeal period of that decision,
he submitted a document indicating that he was seeking an increased rating and attached
medical evidence. The RO interpreted this submission as a new claim for an increased
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rating, rather than new and material evidence pertaining to the May 1997 RO decision. The
Board similarly concluded that this submission constituted a new claim rather than new and
material evidence, and the Appellant appealed to the CAVC. The CAVC determined that
because the RO treated the February 1998 submission as a new claim for an increased rating,
it did not fail to consider whether it constituted new and material evidence for the purposes
of 38 C.F.R. § 3.156(b).
The Federal Circuit vacated and remanded the CAVC decision, holding that § 3.156(b)
requires VA to evaluate submissions received during the pertinent appeal period to determine
whether the submissions contain new and material evidence pertinent to a pending claim,
even if the new submission may support a new claim. Specifically, the Federal Circuit
concluded that VA must determine: (1) whether the submission contains new and material
evidence relating to a pending claim; and (2) whether it should be treated as a new claim. The
Federal Circuit further held that, in light of the Board’s obligation to provide adequate reasons
and bases for findings and conclusions, and because the record did not contain any analysis
regarding whether the February 1998 submission contained new and material evidence, it
could not be presumed that VA considered, but rejected, the possibility that the Appellant’s
February 1998 submission contained new and material evidence. This case is significant
because it clearly sets forth the analysis required for VA to comply with § 3.156(b).

➢ Chandler v. Shinseki, 676 F.3d 1045 (Fed. Cir. 2012): In this significant case, the Federal
Circuit held that an Appellant is required to show that he or she had a single permanent
disability rated at 100 percent under the schedule for disability ratings in order to receive
special monthly pension, thus overruling Hartness v. Nicholson, 20 Vet. App. 216 (2006).
Here, the Appellant applied for enhanced pension under a special monthly rate, but the
Board denied the claim because he had received a pension under 38 U.S.C. § 1521 before
turning 65, noting that he could not rely on 38 U.S.C. § 1513(a) to remove the pension
eligibility requirement of 38 U.S.C. § 1521(e). The CAVC reversed and remanded the
Board’s decision, primarily relying on Hartness.
In Hartness, the CAVC had considered the interplay between § 1513 and § 1521, but in a
slightly different context from the situation in Chandler. In Hartness, the Veteran had argued
that he was entitled to the higher rate for a pension under § 1521(e) even though he did not
have a single disability rated at 100 percent. Mr. Hartness’s pension was one he sought under
§ 1513. In other words, he applied for a pension after he was 65, unlike Mr. Chandler who
already had a pension in place under § 1521 based on disability alone. The Hartness Court
held that § 1513(a)’s exclusion of the requirement that a Veteran establish that he or she had a
“permanent and total disability” meant that a Veteran with wartime service seeking a pension
based on age did not have to establish that he or she had “a disability rated as permanent and
total” to obtain an increased pension, as would otherwise be required under § 1521(e). The
Federal Circuit held that the two statutory sections (i.e., 壯 1513 and 1521) could be read
together, and stated that the reference in § 1513 to excluding the requirement of “permanent
and total disability” referred only to that phrase in the initial qualifying section in § 1521(a);
it did not alter the separate requirement under § 1521(e) that a Veteran needed to show “a
disability rated as permanent and total” for an increased (enhanced) pension amount. This
case is significant because it overruled a precedential opinion of the CAVC and clarifies the
interaction between § 1513 and § 1521 in enhanced pension cases.
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➢ Horn v. Shinseki, 25 Vet. App. 231 (2012): The Appellant in this case appealed a decision
that denied service connection for a left hip disorder. The Board determined that the Veteran’s
induction examination report noted no hip condition and applied the presumption of soundness.
However, the Board determined that there was clear and unmistakable evidence that the Veteran’s
left hip disorder preexisted service without any evidence of having been aggravated therein.
The CAVC explained that when the presumption of soundness applies under 38 U.S.C. § 1111,
as in this case, the burden of proof then shifts to VA to establish by clear and unmistakable
evidence both that a disease preexisted service (preexisting prong) and was not aggravated
by service (aggravation prong). To rebut the aggravation prong of the presumption of
soundness, the burden is not on the Appellant to produce any evidence of aggravation. Rather
VA must establish by clear and unmistakable evidence that either the preexisting disease did
not increase in severity during service or that any increase was due to the natural progress
of the disease. The CAVC then offered several means for VA to affirmatively show a lack of
aggravation in these circumstances, such as: (1) obtaining an opinion from a VA physician
when a Veteran is discharged from service for medical reasons; (2) subpoenaing pre-service
medical records and interviewing people who were familiar with the Veteran’s condition prior
to service; or (3) soliciting a post-service medical opinion that discusses “the character of the
particular injury or disease.” This case is significant because it clearly sets forth the legal
standard and burden of proof when the presumption of soundness under § 1111 is applicable.

➢ Young v. Shinseki, 25 Vet. App. 201 (2012): In the underlying decision, the Appellant
appealed a Board decision that denied service connection for PTSD and referred the matter of
entitlement to service connection for a generalized anxiety disorder. The CAVC subsequently
issued a memorandum decision modifying the Board’s decision to reflect a remand to the AOJ,
rather than a referral, of that part of the claim seeking entitlement to service connection for a
mental condition other than PTSD and, as modified, affirmed the decision. Subsequently, the
Appellant applied for an award of attorney’s fees and expenses pursuant to the EAJA. During
the course of the proceedings for the attorney’s fees, a majority of the panel questioned the
CAVC’s underlying jurisdiction over the Board’s decision to refer a part of the Veteran’s claim
for VA benefits for a mental disability.
The CAVC held that it had jurisdiction over an appeal of a decision of the Board that denies a
part of a claim for benefits and decides to refer, rather than remand, for adjudication another
part (or condition) or theory in support of that same claim, noting that its jurisdiction extended
not only to the denied part of the claim, but also to the referral decision. In reaching this
conclusion, the majority explained that it is “well settled that the Court has jurisdiction to
determine whether the Board had jurisdiction to take the action it takes in a decision,” and that
“[o]nce the Board has jurisdiction over a claim, . . . it has the authority to address all issues
related to that claim, even those not previously decided by the RO.” This case is important
because it demonstrates that the CAVC has jurisdiction to consider the Board’s decision to
refer an issue to the RO.
Page 15
12

Coordination with VBA Regional Offices, VHA, NCA and OGC
During the past year, the Board actively partnered with VA elements across the corporate enterprise
in order to better serve Veterans and their families. In particular, the Board continued its efforts
to conduct as many hearings as possible within FTE levels in order to reduce the number of cases
on appeal awaiting Board hearings. In addition, Board personnel conducted extensive training for
over 500 VBA Decision Review Officers (DROs) as part of the Joint Training Initiative between
VBA and BVA. Topics covered included recent trends in Veterans’ law, top reasons for remand, the
Board hearing process, and an organizational overview of the Board. BVA also had the pleasure of
welcoming several DROs from the Los Angeles, California, and Providence, Rhode Island, ROs to its
facility to provide an overview of Board operations. Members of BVA’s Executive Leadership Team,
administrative personnel, VLJs, and attorney staff participated in question and answer sessions and
provided a tour of BVA’s facility. BVA also provided a tour and an informational briefing to a VBA
leadership development group. In Fiscal Year 2013, the Board will continue coordination with VBA
with joint training efforts and plans to leverage video teleconferencing technology to allow attorneys
to provide trainings virtually to RO staff on topics of interest identified by VBA.
The Board also played an integral role in many intra-agency working groups during Fiscal Year 2012. Of
note, the Board had active representation on VBA’s Appeals Design Team (ADT), a group established
to generate and implement innovative ideas to help decrease lengthy appellate processing times and
increase appellate processing quality. One ADT proposal spawned a successful pilot program at
the Houston, Texas RO wherein claimants who disagreed with a benefits decision were asked to use
Notices of Disagreement (NODs) on a standardized form. BVA has worked closely with VBA and
OGC to craft regulatory changes that would codify use of this standardized form to help improve
efficiencies in appeals processing.
The Board also enjoyed the opportunity to participate in the Veterans Lifetime Electronic Record
(VLER) working group. In this capacity, Board representatives provided guidance on requirements
for VA claims adjudication and assisted with use case development. In addition, the Board assisted in
drafting the VLER Concept of Operations document.
Additionally, the Board collaborated with VBA and OGC staff to help develop rulemakings to
implement the compensation and pension provisions of the Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring
for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012, Public Law Number 112-154, and further worked with OGC
to suggest improvements to VBA’s Simplified Notification Letters.
BVA continued to partner with DMA in an effort to improve the compensation and pension
examination process in order to enhance the quality of examination reports. The Board welcomed
representatives from DMA to BVA’s facility on numerous occasions during Fiscal Year 2012
to discuss matters relating to VA examinations. In addition, BVA worked collaboratively with
representatives from VBA, VHA, and OGC to conduct a line-by-line review of each of the Disability
Benefits Questionnaires (DBQs) for legal accuracy. As part of this process, the Board also assisted
with the implementation of a major VHA initiative – the use of Acceptable Clinical Evidence (ACE)
in completing a request for a medical evaluation and/or opinion.
Page 16
13

The Board continued to coordinate closely with NCA on appeals processing and tracking. Board
representatives participated in a working group focused on establishing an appellate administrative
office within NCA, and provided legal guidance on an as needed basis on issues such as the legal
requirements for NODs, substantive appeals, and submission of new and material evidence for
previously denied claims. The Board also provided guidance to NCA on the information that must be
included in the file in order to enable appellate review.

Finally, the Board engaged in the Department-wide task force charged with capturing the functions,
tasks, and capabilities of each branch of VA, as well as the areas in which these functions, tasks, and
capabilities overlap and can be leveraged. These cumulative intra-agency efforts will lead to greater
synchronization across all aspects of the enterprise.
Veterans Service Organization (VSO) Forums and Training
The Chairman invites VSOs and attorneys who represent Appellants before the Board to VSO
Forums on a quarterly basis. These meetings address appeals issues raised by representatives and
also facilitate the exchange of ideas and information. An update on the Board’s activities is provided,
and matters of general interest are addressed.
The Board also provides global training to VSO representatives who are co-located with the Board
to familiarize them with BVA processes and procedures and with the various functions of the
administrative personnel, attorneys, and VLJs. VSOs are also invited to provide training to attorneys
and VLJs, and to participate in the in-house training that is provided to BVA staff. In addition, Board
staff provided substantive training on behalf of the Acting Chairman to the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Volunteer Activities
The Board proudly supports Veterans and their families. In Fiscal Year 2012, BVA continued to facilitate
the collection and donation of comfort items for distribution to Veterans at the Washington, DC VAMC,
the Fisher House, and the United States Armed Forces Retirement Home (U.S.A.F.R.H.). Staff members
also participated in the Toys for Tots campaign organized by the United States Marine Corps Reserve,
and helped to collect calendars and valentines for Veterans to distribute at the U.S.A.F.R.H. Numerous
Board employees participated in the Honor Flight Network, greeting WWII Veterans who have
been flown, free of charge, to Washington, DC, to view the memorials; the Winterhaven Homeless
Veterans Stand Down; the Veterans Day Ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery; and other
outreach events at the VAMC in Washington, DC. The Board also participated actively in the
Combined Federal Campaign and the Feds Feed Families food drive. The Board published the
fourth volume of the Veterans Law Review, which is edited and managed by an all-volunteer staff;
no duty time is used for writing or editing activities.
Page 17
14

Planning for the Future
➢ Leadership Initiative: The Leadership Initiative (LI) provides opportunities for all Board
employees to improve their leadership skills through training, mentoring, and networking.
Events during Fiscal Year 2012 included a networking meet and greet; a school-supply drive
for Operation Homefront; a group of employees volunteering at Honor Flight events at
Reagan National airport; presentations on career development at the Board; a luncheon for
Administrative Professionals Day; and a reception for the Excellence in Leadership Award.
➢ Non-BVA Training Initiatives: The Board seeks to send high-quality, high-producing
attorneys, VLJs, and administrative professionals to Leadership VA, as well as leadership
seminars and programs offered through the Office of Personnel Management’s Federal
Executive Institute and its Management Development Centers. During the past Fiscal Year,
five employees were competitively selected to attend Leadership VA, a corporate leadership
development program that cultivates high-performing leaders for a 21st century VA. Through
a series of experiences, Leadership VA participants leave the program with a shared leadership
framework, skill-set, and tool-set to drive excellence in their organizations and accomplish VA
strategic goals. Leadership VA and other training courses are an integral part of the Board’s
plan to develop its future leaders.
Page 18
15

BOARD MEMBERS1
Steven L. Keller
Acting Chairman/Vice Chairman
Laura H. Eskenazi
Principal Deputy Vice Chairman
Deputy Vice Chairmen
Joaquin Aguayo-Pereles
David C. Spickler
Chief Veterans Law Judges
Wayne M. Braeuer
Cherry O. Crawford
Mark Greenstreet
Linda Anne Howell
Cheryl L. Mason
Kimberly E. Osborne
Robert Sullivan
VETERANS LAW JUDGES
1 Pursuant to 38 C.F.R. § 19.2(b), a member of the Board may also be known as a Veterans Law Judge (VLJ).
Karen J. Alibrando
Milo H. Hawley
Michael A. Pappas
Keith W. Allen
Michael A. Herman
Kalpana M. Parakkal
Marjorie A. Auer
Mark D. Hindin
Jeffrey D. Parker
Kathy A. Banfield
Anne E. Jaeger
Alan S. Peevy
Derek R. Brown
John Z. Jones
Ursula R. Powell
Bethany L. Buck
Michelle Kane
Steven D. Reiss
Theresa M. Catino
Susan L. Kennedy
Harvey P. Roberts
Dennis F. Chiappetta, Jr.
Michael E. Kilcoyne
Robert C. Scharnberger
Vito A. Clementi
Jonathan B. Kramer
Ronald W. Scholz
Barbara B. Copeland
Michael S. Lane
Howard N. Schwartz
John J. Crowley
Mary Ellen Larkin
George R. Senyk
Thomas J. Dannaher
Eric S. Leboff
Deborah W. Singleton
Paula M. DiLorenzo
Michael D. Lyon
Susan S. Toth
Shane A. Durkin
James L. March
Claudia Trueba
Frank J. Flowers
James A. Markey
David L. Wight
Kathleen Gallagher
Michael D. Martin
Stephen L. Wilkins
George E. Guido, Jr.
Joy A. McDonald
Jessica J. Wills
Mark F. Halsey
Jacqueline E. Monroe
Page 19
16
PART II
STATISTICAL DATA
Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 Information
The following information is required by 38 U.S.C. § 7101(d)(2):
38 U.S.C. § 7101(d)(2)(A)
38 U.S.C. § 7101(d)(2)(B)
* Includes certified appeals pending in the field awaiting hearings, as well as cases pending at BVA.
Number of appeals filed at the Agency of Original Jurisdiction (AOJ) during FY 2012:
37,326
Number of appeals physically received at the Board and docketed during FY 2012:
49,611
Cases pending before the Board at the start of FY 2012:
41,005*
Cases pending before the Board at the end of FY 2012:
45,959*
Cases physically at the Board at the end of FY 2012:
36,625
Page 20
17
38 U.S.C. § 7101(d)(2)(C)
Number of new appeals filed at the AOJ and cases received at BVA during each of the 36 months
preceding FY 2012.
Appeals Filed at AOJ
Appeals Docketed Upon Receipt
Month
FY 09
FY 10
FY 11
FY 12
FY 09
FY 10
FY 11
FY 12
October
4,497
5,295
3,693
2,804
3,459
5,197
3,907
2,917
November
3,392
4,853
3,392
3,033
2,879
3,611
3,949
2,891
December
3,590
4,788
3,103
2,936
3,766
3,392
3,171
3,280
January
3,730
5,246
2,957
2,617 3,462
4,926
3,359
5,648
February
3,840
3,535
2,909
2,460
3,691
3,190
3,514
3,378
March
4,593
5,697
3,670
3,371 4,467
5,069
4,538
4,198
April
4,459
4,936
3,280
3,138
5,145
4,194
4,269
4,774
May
3,801
4,462
3,464
3,545
4,278
5,289
4,555
5,000
June
4,632
5,201
3,610
3,311
5,011
4,974
3,934
4,228
July
5,003
4,526
2,833
3,361
4,653
4,462
4,010
4,478
August
4,650
4,756
2,884
3,483 4,466
3,823
4,131
4,466
September
5,294
4,630
2,811
3,267
4,506
4,399
4,426
4,353
FY Total
51,481 57,925 38,606 37,326 49,783 52,526 47,763
49,611
Page 21
18
Cases Received at BVA FY 09 – FY 12
Appeals Filed at AOJ FY 09 – FY 12
0
10,000
20,000
30,000
40,000
50,000
60,000
FY 13 Estimate
FY 12
FY 11
FY 10
FY 09
49,783
52,526
47,763
49,611
54,033
0
10,000
20,000
30,000
40,000
50,000
60,000
FY 13 Estimate
FY 12
FY 11
FY 10
FY 09
51,481
57,925
38,606
37,326
44,687
Page 22
19
38 U.S.C. § 7101(d)(2)(D)
The average length of time between the filing of an appeal (i.e., Substantive Appeal or VA Form 9)
at the AOJ and the Board’s disposition of the appeal was 1,040 days in Fiscal Year 2012. Notably,
the Board only controlled 25 percent of that time period in Fiscal Year 2012. As reflected in the
chart below, the average time between the time that an appeal was physically received and docketed
at the Board to disposition was only 251 days. The chart also provides the average processing time
between other distinct steps within the appeals process.
* This includes the Board’s cycle time of 117 days. Cycle time measures the time from when an
appeal is physically received at the Board until a decision is reached, excluding the time the case is
with a VSO representative for preparation of written argument.
38 U.S.C. § 7101(d)(2)(E)
The number of members of the Board at the end of FY 2012: 64 members
The number of professional, administrative, clerical and other personnel employed by the Board at the
end of FY 2012: 460 employees, not including 64 members above
38 U.S.C. § 7101(d)(2)(F)
Number of acting members of the Board during FY 2012: 77
Number of cases in which such members participated: 6,515
38 U.S.C. § 7101(c)(2)
Number of acting members of the Board in terms of full-time employee equivalents: 7.2
Time Interval
Responsible Party
Average Elapsed
Processing Time
Notice of Disagreement Receipt
to Statement of the Case
AOJ
270 days
Statement of the Case Issuance to
Substantive Appeal (VA Form 9)
Receipt
Appellant
40 days
Substantive Appeal Receipt to
Certification of Appeal to BVA
AOJ
692 days
Receipt of Certified Appeal to
Issuance of BVA Decision*
BVA
251 days
Average Remand Time Factor
AOJ
445 days
Page 23
20
PROJECTIONS FOR
FISCAL YEARS 2013 AND 2014
The following information is required by 38 U.S.C. § 7101(d)(3):
38 U.S.C. § 7101(d)(3)(A)
Estimated number of cases that will be appealed to BVA:
38 U.S.C. § 7101(d)(3)(B)
Evaluation of the ability of the Board (based on existing and projected personnel levels) to ensure
timely disposition of such appeals as required by 38 U.S.C. § 7101(a):
The indicator used by BVA to forecast its future timeliness of service delivery is the Board’s
“response time” on appeals. By taking into account the Board’s most recent appeals processing rate
and the number of appeals that are currently pending before the Board, BVA response time projects
the average time that will be required to render decisions on that group of pending appeals. For
response time computation, the term “appeals pending before the Board” includes appeals at the
Board and those that have been certified for BVA review but are held in the field pending BVA Travel
Board or video teleconference hearings.
The following categories are calculated as follows:
Fiscal Year 2013:
VA Form 9s Filed at the AOJ:
44,687
Cases docketed upon receipt at BVA:
54,033
Fiscal Year 2014:
VA Form 9s Filed at the AOJ:
59,746
Cases docketed upon receipt at BVA:
64,941
FY 2012 decisions (44,300) (divided by)
260 Work Days
= 170.4 Decisions per Work Day
Cases Pending at end of FY 2012 (45,959)
+ New Cases expected in FY 2013 (54,033)
= 99,992 Total Workload in FY 2013
Total Workload (99,992) (divided by)
Decisions per Work Day (170.4)
= 587 Work Days
Work Days (587) (divided by)
261 Work Days
= 2.3 Years
Work Years (2.3) x 12 (months)
= 27.6 Months
Page 24
21
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Potential BVA Workload in VBA FY 09 – FY 12
Number of New Notices of Disagreement Received in the Field
MONTH
FY 09
FY 10
FY 11
FY 12
October
12,036
12,956
12,587
9,678
November
9,530
11,079
11,248
8,563
December
10,229
11,685
9,719
8,450
January
10,627
11,710
10,130
9,490
February
10,709
12,260
9,233
9,094
March
12,226
14,885
11,041
10,208
April
11,633
13,138
9,414
9,847
May
10,767
12,045
9,829
10,101
June
11,926
13,038
10,152
9,303
July
11,813
12,416
9,513
9,131
August
11,119
13,338
10,562
10,065
September
10,761
11,925
9,235
7,711
FY TOTAL
133,376
150,475
122,663
111,641
Notices of Disagreement Received FY 09 – FY 12
0
20,000
40,000
60,000
80,000
100,000
120,000
140,000
160,000
180,000
FY 13 Estimate
FY 12
FY 11
FY 10
FY 09
133,376
150,475
122,663
111,641
126,735
Page 25
22
BVA Dispositions by VA Program FY 2012
APPEAL
PROGRAM
ALLOWED
REMANDED
DENIED
OTHER
TOTAL
No. Percent No. Percent
No. Percent No. Percent
No. Percent
Burial Benefits
9
22.5%
9
22.5%
18
45.0%
4
10.0%
40
0.09%
Compensation
12,303
28.9% 19,593
46.0%
9,334
21.9% 1,344
3.2% 42,574
96.1%
Education
24
10.9%
92
41.8%
91
41.4%
13
5.9%
220
0.5%
Insurance
0
0.0%
5
71.4%
2
28.6%
0
0.0%
7
0.0%
Loan Guaranty
0
0.0%
2
40.0%
2
40.0%
1
20.0%
5
0.0%
Medical
78
20.9%
135
36.1%
129
34.5%
32
8.6%
374
0.8%
Pension
48
10.1%
177
37.1%
221
46.3%
31
6.5%
477
1.1%
VR&E
4
9.8%
17
41.5%
16
39.0%
4
9.8%
41
0.1%
Other Programs
8
18.6%
15
34.9%
17
39.5%
3
7.0%
43
0.1%
BVA Original
Jurisdiction
4
6.2%
3
4.6%
45
69.2%
14
21.5%
65
0.1%
NCA Burial
Benefits
0
0.0%
0
0.0%
1 100.0%
0
0.0%
1
0.0%
Multiple Program
Areas
107
23.7%
251
55.5%
81
17.9%
13
2.9%
452
1.0%
GRAND TOTAL 12,585
28.4% 20,299 45.8%
9,957 22.5% 1,459
3.3% 44,300 100.0%
Page 26
23
BVA Dispositions by Representation FY 2012
REPRESENTATION
ALLOWED
REMANDED
DENIED
OTHER
TOTAL
No. Percent
No. Percent
No. Percent
No. Percent
No. Percent
American Legion
2,354
27.9%
3,986
47.2% 1,830
21.7%
273
3.2% 8,443 19.06%
AMVETS
54
32.0%
66
39.1%
40
23.7%
9
5.3%
169
0.4%
Disabled American
Veterans
4,056
29.4%
6,424
46.6% 2,831
20.5%
478
3.5% 13,789
31.1%
Military Order of the
Purple Heart
144
34.4%
185
44.2%
74
17.7%
16
3.8%
419
0.9%
Paralyzed Veterans of
America
98
29.8%
147
44.7%
65
19.8%
19
5.8%
329
0.7%
Veterans of Foreign
Wars
1,267
30.7%
1,778
43.1%
939
22.7%
144
3.5% 4,128
9.3%
State Service
Organizations
1,993
29.0%
2,930
42.7% 1,757
25.6%
181
2.6% 6,861
15.5%
None
817
21.4%
1,577
41.3% 1,303
34.2%
118
3.1% 3,814
8.6%
Other
191
23.8%
377
46.9%
200
24.9%
36
4.5%
804
1.8%
Attorney
1,310
30.1%
2,247
51.6%
685
15.7%
112
2.6% 4,354
9.8%
Agent
64
27.7%
122
52.8%
39
16.9%
6
2.6%
231
0.5%
Vietnam Veterans of
America
237
24.7%
460
48.0%
194
20.3%
67
7.0%
958
2.2%
GRAND TOTAL
12,585 28.4% 20,299
45.8%
9,957 22.5%
1,459
3.3% 44,300 100.0%
BVA DECISIONS
Fiscal Year
Decisions
Allowed
Remanded
Denied
Other
2009
48,804
24.0%
37.3%
36.1%
2.6%
2010
49,127
26.9%
42.4%
28.1%
2.6%
2011
48,588
28.5%
44.2%
24.2%
3.1%
2012
44,300
28.4%
45.8 %
22.5%
3.3 %
The historical reporting system for Board decisions with multiple issues identifies the disposition of
an appeal based on the following hierarchy: allowance, remand, denial, or other (i.e., dismissals).
When there is more than one disposition involved in a multiple issue appeal, the “reported disposition”
for BVA Statistical Reports will be categorized based on the disposition hierarchy noted above.
Page 27
24
5,000
10,000
15,000
20,000
25,000
30,000
35,000
40,000
45,000
50,000
FY 13 Estimate
FY 12
FY 11
FY 10
FY 09
48,804
49,127
48,588
44,300
46,620
BVA Decisions FY 09 – FY 12
BVA Operating Statistics FY 09 – FY 12
FY 09
FY 10
FY 11
FY 12
Decisions
48,804
49,127
48,558
44,300
Case Receipts*
Added to Docket
51,481
57,925
38,606
37,326
Received at BVA
49,783
52,526
47,763
49,611
Cases Pending**
40,688
45,722
41,005
45,959
Hearings – VACO
470
589
625
494
Video
3,375
3,979
4,355
4,868
Field
7,784
8,947
9,747
6,972
TOTAL
11,629
13,515
14,727
12,334
Decisions per FTE
93.0
89.7
90.8
87
BVA FTE
525
549
535
510
BVA Cycle Time
100
99
119
117
Cost per Case
$1,407
$1,507
$1,574
$1,671
* Case Receipts composed of: (1) new cases added to BVA’s docket; and (2) cases received at BVA, which
consist of all cases physically received at the Board, including original appeals and cases returned to the Board’s docket (i.e., cases returned following remand development, cases remanded by the Court, and cases received for reconsideration or vacate actions).
** Cases Pending include certified appeals pending in the field awaiting BVA hearings, as well as cases pending before the Board.
Page 28

Department of Veterans Affairs
Board of Veterans’ Appeals
Report of the Chairman
Fiscal Year 2012

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