Appeals at the VA Regional Office (St. Petersburg)
- There is no official process for requesting expedited service at the Regional Office appeal level.
- If you are homeless, you can write “homeless” at the top and bottom of each page of your appeal, as well as the envelope you use to send your appeal to the VA. Be aware that regular appeal processing time at the St. Petersburg Regional Office is approximately two years.
Appeals at the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA)
- There is a formal process for requesting an expedited appeal at the BVA level, but you must have a severe financial hardship, suffer from a serious illness, or be of advanced age (75 years old or older).
- The average time to receive a decision from the BVA is 2-3 years.
- Once you have received a letter stating your appeal has been docketed at the BVA, you will have 90 days to submit any new evidence, change your representative, etc. This is the best time to submit your Motion to Advance (see sample motion).
- The BVA will review your motion and grant or deny it in approximately 1-2 months. If your motion is granted, you will receive your BVA decision in approximately six months, rather than 2-3 years.
- If you are claiming a financial hardship, you will need documentation to prove to the BVA that your appeal should be expedited. Some examples of evidence include late bills, eviction notices, bankruptcy filings, etc.
- If you are claiming serious illness, you should include a letter from your doctor summarizing your current condition and whether it is a terminal illness. If you cannot get a letter from your doctor, you should submit medical records highlighted to show your overall prognosis.
- If you are claiming advanced age, be sure to include a copy of your birth certificate, christening record, or other evidence with your Motion to Advance.
**Remember to submit all motions and evidence via certified mail so you have a record of delivery**