Other Fields
Agency Scheme: 
Hearing Level: Basic Structure
Name of Hearing Office (local name): 
Office of the Secretary
Name of Hearing Office (global name): 
Department of Veterans Affairs: Office of the Secretary
Hearing Officer #1 (Title): 
Hearing Officer #2 (Title): 
Administrative Law Judge
Are administrative appeals permitted from final decisions at the hearing-level stage?: 
Comments/Notes on Adjudication Structure: 

These are formal proceedings to suspend, terminate, or deny VA funding to program participants or applicants based on a finding of noncompliance with the requirements of the Age Discrimination Act, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, or Title IX of the Education Amendments, which prohibit recipients of federal financial assistance from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, disability, or age in the operation of their programs. Allegations or findings of noncompliance may result from VA compliance reviews or investigation of complaints received by VA from any person or class of persons. The responsible agency official (which could be the Secretary) or an ALJ conducts hearings. Hearings may be oral or on written record at the election of the applicant or recipient.

"The final decision of the [ALJ] or reviewing authority that a school or training establishment is not in compliance . . . will be accompanied by letters from the Secretary to the House Veterans' Affairs Committee and the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee containing a full report on the circumstances . . ., the reasons for the proposed action and a statement that the proposed action will become the final [VA] action" w/in 30 days. 38 CFR 18b.77

PROCESS & PROCEDURE - General Information
Are private parties permitted to have representation at hearings?: 
Yes (All Types of Cases)
Who may serve as a private party representative?: 
Is the agency permitted to have representation at hearings?: 
Yes (All Types of Cases)
Who may serve as an agency representative?: 
Regulations/rules of practice for hearings (please include CFR citations): 
38 CFR 18.6-18.11, Part 18b
PROCESS & PROCEDURE - Pre-Hearing Procedure
Is discovery permitted by either party at the hearing-level stage?: 
Yes (All Types of Cases)
Briefly describe the scope and type(s) of discovery available (e.g., depositions, interrogatories, etc.): 
"All documents and other evidence offered or taken for the record shall be open to examination by the parties and opportunity shall be given to refute facts and arguments advanced on either side of the issues." 38 CFR 18.9(d)(2) Further, testimony may be taken by deposition, in the discretion of the hearing officer. See 38 CFR 18b.55 In addition, parties may request admission of the genuineness and authenticity of any relevant documents, or for the admission of truth in any of the relevant documents. See 38 CFR 18b.56
Does the hearing officer have subpoena authority?: 
Yes (All Types of Cases)
Are ex parte contacts prohibited?: 
Yes (All Types of Cases)
Are parties provided notice of hearing?: 
Yes (All Types of Cases)
PROCESS & PROCEDURE - Hearing Procedure
What types of hearings are permitted at the hearing-level stage?: 
Written (Document-Only) Hearing
How is the type of hearing selected: 
By Private Party
How many hearing officers preside at each hearing?: 
Is witness testimony permitted at hearings?: 
Varies by Case
If "Varies by Case," please describe: 
Witness testimony is permitted at oral hearings. This question is not applicable to document-only hearings.
Can parties cross-examine witnesses?: 
Varies by Case
If "Varies by Case," please describe: 
Cross-examination is permitted at oral hearings. This question is not applicable to document-only hearings.
Can third-parties submit amicus briefs and/or evidence?: 
Adjudication Officer Discretion
Are hearings recorded and/or transcribed?: 
N/A (Document-Only Hearings)
PROCESS & PROCEDURE - Post-Hearing Procedure
Who typically drafts the decision at the hearing-level stage?: 
Adjudication Officer
If "Other," please specify (drafts): 
*Oral Hearing Conducted by ALJ:When hearings conducted by an ALJ, and the ALJ has authority to issue an initial decision, the applicant or recipient has 30 days to file exceptions after receiving a mailed copy of such decision. The "responsible official" may also take "own motion" review of initial decision. If ALJ hears case but does not have authority to issue initial decision, then he/she certifies hearing record and issues "recommended findings and proposed facts" to "responsible official" for issuance of a final decision. * Hearings by "responsible official": If the responsible official the oral hearing, or if only a written hearing, then the he or she drafts the final decision.
Who has authority to issue final decisions?: 
Adjudication Officer
If "Other," please specify: 
ALJ initial decisions (when issued) become the final decision of the "responsible official" when no exceptions or "own motion" reviews filed. Decisions issued by the "responsible official" are final decisions. However, by rule, all final decisions (by ALJs or responsible officials (when the responsible official is not the Secretary)) are subject to "approval" by the Secretary.
Do agency regulations or guidance provide time limits for issuance of final decisions?: 
Yes (Some Types of Cases)
If "Yes," please specify these time limit(s): 
20 days, if no exception to the decision is filed
Is judicial review available after issuance of a final decision?: 
Yes (All Types of Cases)
PROCESS & PROCEDURE - Case Management
Does the agency permit web-based electronic filing of hearing-related briefs or other documents?: 
Are final decisions published and/or posted on the agency website?: 
Do agency regulations/rules of practice specify the contents of the administrative record at the hearing-level stage?: 
Yes (All Types of Cases)
If "Yes," please provide citation(s): 
38 CFR 18b.66, 18b.67
Do agency regulations/rules of practice provide for closure of the record at the hearing-level stage (subject to applicable exce: 
Comments/Notes on Hearing-Level Process & Procedures (Optional): 
"Upon notice to all parties, the reviewing authority or the presiding officer, with respect to matters pending before them, may modify or waive any rule upon determination that no party will be unduly prejudiced and the ends of justice will thereby be served." 38 CFR 18b.12 "A party may appear in person or by counsel and participate fully in any proceeding. A State agency or a corporation may appear by any of its officers or by any employee it authorizes to appear on its behalf. Counsel must be members in good standing of the bar." 38 CFR 18b.13 "The reviewing authority may provide for proceedings in the Department of Veterans Affairs to be joined or consolidated for hearing with proceedings in other Federal departments or agencies, by agreement with such other departments or agencies. All parties to any proceeding consolidated subsequent to service of the notice of hearing or opportunity for hearing shall be served with notice of such consolidation." 38 CFR 18b.34
ADR: General Information
Is ADR available at one or more points during the hearing process?: 
Verified by Agency: 
Not verified