Reviews and Appeals

If you do not agree with the Departmental decision made regarding your application for disability benefits, you may request a Departmental review or appeal the decision to the Veterans Review and Appeal Board (VRAB).

The Veterans Review and Appeal Board is the independent tribunal that offers an avenue of appeal for Departmental decisions on disability benefits. In order to ensure a fair appeal process, the Board is an entirely separate and independent organization from Veterans Affairs Canada (the Department).

If you are dissatisfied with your Departmental decision, you can contact the Bureau of Pensions Advocates (BPA) which provides free legal assistance. The BPA has offices across Canada staffed by experienced lawyers who have the responsibility to represent applicants before the Veterans Review and Appeal Board.

Veterans' organizations such as the Royal Canadian Legion also provide assistance, free of charge, in preparing your review or appeal.

Options for review or appeal include:

  • A Departmental Review

    This option gives you the opportunity to provide any important new evidence in support of your application and have your claim reviewed again by VAC.

Veterans Review and Appeal Board

  • Review Hearing

    The Review Hearing is the only time in the process when you may appear before decision-makers and testify regarding the facts of your case. During the hearing, Board members listen to your testimony and to the arguments made by your representative, and ask questions to clarify all the details of your application. Review Hearings are normally conducted by two Board members, and take place at approximately 23 locations across Canada (your travel expenses will be covered by Veterans Affairs Canada). The Board also offers Review Hearings by teleconference and video conference.

  • Appeal Hearing

    If you are dissatisfied with your VRAB Review decision, you can request an Appeal hearing. An Appeal hearing is a further opportunity for your representative to make oral and/or written arguments in support of your case. The legislation does not permit oral testimony at this level.

    Three Board Members who were not involved in the Review Hearing conduct the Appeal Hearing. Appeal Hearings are usually held at the Board's Head Office in Charlottetown as well as by teleconference.

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