38 CFR 17.133 - Procedures.
(a)Scope. This section sets forth reconsideration procedures regarding claims for benefits administered by the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). These procedures apply to claims for VHA benefits regarding decisions that are appealable to the Board of Veterans' Appeals (e.g., reimbursement for non-VA care not authorized in advance, reimbursement for beneficiary travel expenses, reimbursement for home improvements or structural alterations, etc.). These procedures do not apply when other regulations providing reconsideration procedures do apply (this includes CHAMPVA ( 38 CFR 17.270 through 17.278) and spina bifida ( 38 CFR 17.904) and any other regulations that contain reconsideration procedures). Also, these procedures do not apply to decisions made outside of VHA, such as decisions made by the Veterans Benefits Administration and adopted by VHA for decisionmaking. These procedures are not mandatory, and a claimant may choose to appeal the denied claim to the Board of Veterans' Appeals pursuant to 38 U.S.C. 7105 without utilizing the provisions of this section. Submitting a request for reconsideration shall constitute a notice of disagreement for purposes of filing a timely notice of disagreement under 38 U.S.C. 7105(b).
(b)Process. An individual who disagrees with the initial decision denying the claim in whole or in part may obtain reconsideration under this section by submitting a reconsideration request in writing to the Director of the healthcare facility of jurisdiction within one year of the date of the initial decision. The reconsideration decision will be made by the immediate supervisor of the initial VA decision-maker. The request must state why it is concluded that the decision is in error and must include any new and relevant information not previously considered. Any request for reconsideration that does not identify the reason for the dispute will be returned to the sender without further consideration. The request for reconsideration may include a request for a meeting with the immediate supervisor of the initial VA decision-maker, the claimant, and the claimant's representative (if the claimant wishes to have a representative present). Such a meeting shall only be for the purpose of discussing the issues and shall not include formal procedures (e.g., presentation, cross-examination of witnesses, etc.). The meeting will be taped and transcribed by VA if requested by the claimant and a copy of the transcription shall be provided to the claimant. After reviewing the matter, the immediate supervisor of the initial VA decision-maker shall issue a written decision that affirms, reverses, or modifies the initial decision.