Review and Appeal Hearings

Brochure - A Guide to Review and Appeal Hearings

What is a Review Hearing?

The Review Hearing is the only time in the process when applicants may appear before the Board and testify regarding the facts of their case. During the hearing, Board Members listen to this testimony and to the arguments made by the applicant's representative, and may ask questions to clarify all the details of the application. The purpose of these questions is to help Members understand the evidence in order to make a fair and reasonable decision. 

Review Hearings are normally conducted by two Board Members, and take place at approximately 25 locations across Canada. This makes it easier for applicants to attend and to present testimony in person. The Board also offers Review Hearings by teleconference and video conference.

Review Hearing Calendar


This informational video will assist you in understanding how to apply and prepare for your hearing with the Veterans Review and Appeal Board.
How to Apply and Prepare for Your Hearing - Transcript

You’ve decided to come to the Veterans Review and Appeal Board for an independent review of the disability benefits decision you received from Veterans Affairs Canada.

Here’s what you need to know about applying and preparing for your Review hearing.

The first step is to consider representation.

You can get free legal representation from the Bureau of Pensions Advocates or you may choose to be represented for free by a Service Officer from the Royal Canadian Legion. You can also pay a private representative or you can represent yourself.

Next, you or representative register your Review application. Visit the How to Apply page on our website for instructions.

Our staff then prepares the evidence package that will be used for your hearing called a Statement of Case. This includes all relevant evidence gathered from Veterans Affairs Records. It may include your service and medical records and previous Veterans Affairs Canada disability benefit decisions.

Once the Statement of Case is ready, we share this evidence package with you and/or your representative. It will be available on MyVAC account or mailed to you.

The next step is to prepare your case with the help of your representative, if you have one. This involves gathering and submitting evidence, like additional or new medical records, documents and witness statements.

You should also prepare to share your testimony if you feel comfortable in doing so. This may include talking about your service, how your disability came about and how it has affected you. It’s important to think about how you want to share your testimony with the two Board Members making the decision in your case. Writing it down in advance may be helpful to you.

Once your case is ready, the final step is for you or your representative to ask the Board to schedule your Review hearing.

Review hearings are held in locations across Canada. You also have the option to attend your hearing by phone or video call. If you choose an in-person hearing, it is scheduled in the location nearest you and your eligible travel costs are reimbursed by Veterans Affairs.

There is another step you can take if your dissatisfied with the Review decision. You have the right to an Appeal hearing with the Board. Appeal hearings are conducted by three Board Members who did not hear your case at the Review hearing.

Though there is no oral testimony permitted at an Appeal hearing, it is a further opportunity for you or your representative to make oral and/or written submissions in support of your case.

Every year, the Veterans Review and Appeal Board awards thousands of Veterans with new or increased disability benefits.

You have the right to be heard. And we ae here to listen.

To learn more about he hearing process, please visit our website and watch our other videos.

What is an Appeal Hearing?

An Appeal Hearing is a further opportunity for representatives to make oral and/or written arguments in support of a 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.

Decision Service Standard

The Veterans Review and Appeal Board is committed to issuing full and fair decisions as quickly as possible. Our goal is to provide you with clear reasons that are based on a thoughtful analysis of all the available information and according to the applicable legislation. On April 1, 2009, the Board established a service standard to issue decisions within 6 weeks of the hearing. This table shows our performance against the standard (percentage of decisions issued within 6 weeks of the hearing):

Service Standards
Fiscal Year Review Appeal
2020-21 68% of 1,626 decisions 64% of 846 decisions
2019-20 55% of 1,427 decisions 51% of 858 decisions
2018-19 74% of 1,407 decisions 75% of 567 decisions
2017-18 65% of 2,017 decisions 42% of 375 decisions
2016-17 87% of 2,219 decisions 88% of 937 decisions
2015-16 84% of 2,507 decisions 89% of 793 decisions
2014-15 79% of 2,729 decisions 84% of 1,039 decisions
2013-14 84% of 3,213 decisions 85% of 1,159 decisions
2012-13 87% of 3,236 decisions 89% of 928 decisions
2011-12 82% of 3,636 decisions 86% of 1,072 decisions
2010-11 85% of 3,539 decisions 88% of 974 decisions
2009-10 80% of 4,140 decisions 86% of 1,380 decisions

Your Hearing Options