VRAB Rules of Practice and Procedure - Backgrounder

The Board’s proposed rules include:

Reference Materials (section 3)
This rule explains to Veterans and their representatives how to submit and cite a reference document so that the Board knows where it came from and how it is relevant to the case.

Evidence (sections 4-7)
These rules remind Veterans and their representatives to submit evidence before the hearing (at Review, no later than two days before the hearing; at Appeal, no later than two weeks before the hearing). Board members need to review the evidence ahead of time, so that they are well-informed and can ask any questions at the hearing to help them fully understand the Veteran’s case.

The evidence rules also explain what information the Board needs and will consider when reviewing audio/video recordings and expert reports. We want Veterans to know and understand the factors the Board will consider when weighing expert reports, so that they can present the best evidence to support their applications. These factors are based on guidance about the credibility of medical opinions provided by the Federal Court through its decisions.

Questions of Interpretation (sections 9-12)
These rules explain the practices and procedures for submitting, hearing and deciding questions of interpretation under sections 30 and 37 of the VRAB Act. A question of interpretation allows interested parties to ask the Board for a hearing to clarify issues related to the interpretation of legislation, policy, or procedure.

Compassionate Awards (section 13)
This rule is about the compassionate award, an extraordinary remedy that falls outside the usual appeal process (s. 34, VRAB Act). The Board can only grant this award if the applicant is unqualified to receive disability benefits and their case is “specially meritorious.”

In a recent decision, the Board clarified that financial need is a key factor for this award. This rule explains what a Veteran needs to provide to the Board when seeking a compassionate award.

Read the proposed rules and find out how to comment.

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