Comments/Notes on Hearing-Level Process & Procedures (Optional):
Hearings before the Board take place either in-person or via video teleconferencing. In-person hearings occur either at the Board's offices in Washington, D.C. or in a veterans' local VA office (to which the Board member, or Veterans Law Judge, travels). Hearings are informal and non-adversarial, and a veteran may have a representative accompany him or her to the hearing. The Board accepts new evidence from a veteran at any time in the process (even after the hearing), and the Board has a duty to gather evidence newly identified or discovered by a veteran; however, it must usually remand the case to the local VA office should new evidence be presented that can influence the appeal, unless the veteran waives initial consideration of that evidence by the local VA office.
Decisions by the Board are not precedential; however, OGC may issue precedential decisions. See 38 CFR 19.5
If there is no applicable rule or procedure supplied, the Chairman may prescribe one consistent with statute and regulation. See 38 CFR 20.2
The Board uses the "benefit of the doubt" rule, which resolves an approximate balance of positive and negative evidence in favor of the veteran.