Veterans Impacted by Hurricanes Will Get Priority on Appeals Claims

The VA announced it is giving priority to pending appeals claims for veterans in areas impacted by two recent major hurricanes.

The Department of Veterans Affairs announced today that it will be prioritizing the pending appeals claims for veterans who were impacted by Hurricanes Michael and Florence.

VA’s Board of Veterans’ Appeals has determined that the significant effects of the two hurricanes were sufficient cause for the Board to advance the appeals for counties in Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia determined to be disaster areas by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

“Accelerating the decision process on pending appeals claims for those Veterans and their families affected by hurricanes Florence and Michael is the right thing to do,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie.

By regulation, the Board may advance appeals on its docket by a motion of the chairman if sufficient cause is shown. This means that all veterans and other appellants with an appeal currently pending before the Board whose addresses of record are in one of the affected counties will have their appeals automatically advanced on the Board’s docket. No action is needed on the part of the affected veterans if their addresses are current.

The VA has provided the list of impacted counties on its website.

The advancement on docket (AOD) for these two storms is expected to last for six months from the date of the events. Therefore, counties impacted by Hurricane Florence will be AODed from Oct. 1, 2018, to March 31, 2019, and counties affected by Hurricane Michael will be AODed from Nov. 1, 2018, to April 30, 2019. The Board will reassess AOD for these two storms once the six-month periods end.

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of He has over 20 years of combined experience in media and government services, having worked at two government contracting firms and an online news and web development company prior to his current role at FedSmith.