When you are preparing to go to the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA) to have your hearing the most important thing is that you go in prepared. After you receive your notice from the Department of Veterans Affairs of your hearing date, you should request your entire claim file (C-File). This C-File is one of the main things the BVA will use to determine the outcome of your appeal.
When you receive your C-File you should go through it, finding the specific areas that support the claims you are making for a higher disability rating. Doing so is incredibly important since a typical BVA hearing will only last for one hour. You will focus the BVA’s attention on the item(s) that most pertain to your appeal, helping to prevent the BVA from honing in on the wrong areas.
Prior to the hearing you should outline and rehearse what you plan to present at the hearing. Remember you only have an hour and it is vitally important that you, not only, know what you want to say, but how you are going to say it. This will help you guide the BVA into a situation where they will hear the most pertinent information to your case, by focusing them on the exact areas in your C-File that must be reviewed. If you are representing yourself before the BVA, remember that you are your own best advocate. Do not expect the BVA to find relevant information on its own.