WASHINGTON — Today the U.S. Department of Veterans (VA) announced that it is prioritizing Veterans benefits appeals claims, effective Nov. 1, for victims in the Northern Mariana Islands who have been impacted by Super Typhoon Yutu.
VA’s Board of Veterans’ Appeals has determined that the significant effects of Super Typhoon Yutu were sufficient cause for the Board to advance the appeals for the Northern Mariana Islands municipalities determined to be disaster areas by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
“During this season of intense weather systems, VA is continually assessing how we can best support our Veterans as they recover from natural disasters,” VA Secretary Wilkie said. “Just as it did with hurricanes Florence and Michael, VA’s Board of Veterans’ Appeals is prioritizing the benefits appeals claims process because it is the right thing to do.”
By regulation, the Board may advance appeals on docket (AOD) by a motion of the chairman if sufficient cause is shown. All Veterans and other appellants with an appeal currently pending before the Board whose addresses of record are in one of the affected municipalities will have their appeal automatically advanced on the Board’s docket.
No action from Veterans or appellants are needed if their addresses are current. The AOD for this storm is expected to last until April 30, 2019, and the Board will reassess the situation after that period has ended. For a comprehensive list of all affected AOD areas, visit: https://www.bva.va.gov/Natural_Disasters.asp.
In addition to Super Typhoon Yutu, VA also concluded that the significant effects of hurricanes Florence and Michael were sufficient cause for the Board to advance the appeals for counties in Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia found to be disaster areas by FEMA.
The mission of VA’s Board of Veterans’ Appeals is to conduct hearings and decide disability benefits appeals for Veterans in a timely manner. For more information about the Board, visit www.bva.va.gov/.