38 CFR § 20.3 - Rule 3. Definitions.

§ 20.3 Rule 3. Definitions.

As used in these Rules:

(a)Agency of original jurisdiction means the Department of Veterans Affairs activity or administration, that is, the Veterans Benefits Administration, Veterans Health Administration, or National Cemetery Administration, that made the initial determination on a claim.

(b)Agent means a person who has met the standards and qualifications for accreditation outlined in § 14.629(b) of this chapter and who has been properly designated under the provisions of Rule 604 (§ 20.604 of this part). It does not include representatives recognized under Rules 602, 603, or 605 (§ 20.602, 20.603, or § 20.605 of this part).

(c)Appellant means a claimant who has initiated an appeal to the Board of Veterans' Appeals by filing a timely Notice of Disagreement pursuant to the provisions of § 20.201, and either § 20.302(a) or § 20.501(a), as applicable.

(d)Attorney-at-law means a member in good standing of a State bar.

(e)Benefit means any payment, service, commodity, function, or status, entitlement to which is determined under laws administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs pertaining to veterans and their dependents and survivors.

(f)Claim means application made under title 38, United States Code, and implementing directives for entitlement to Department of Veterans Affairsbenefits or for the continuation or increase of such benefits, or the defense of a proposed agency adverse action concerning benefits.

(g)Claimant means a person who has filed a claim, as defined by paragraph (f) of this section.

(h)Electronic hearing means a hearing on appeal in which an appellant or a representative participates, through voice transmission or through picture and voice transmission, by electronic or other means, in a hearing with a Member or Members sitting at the Board's principal location in Washington, DC.

(i)Hearing on appeal means a hearing conducted after a Notice of Disagreement has been filed in which argument and/or testimony is presented concerning the determination, or determinations, by the agency of original jurisdiction being appealed.

(j)Law student means an individual pursuing a Juris Doctor or equivalent degree at a school approved by a recognized accrediting association.

(k)Legal intern means a graduate of a law school, which has been approved by a recognized accrediting association, who has not yet been admitted to a State bar.

(l)Motion means a request that the Board rule on some question which is subsidiary to the ultimate decision on the outcome of an appeal. For example, the questions of whether a representative's fees are reasonable or whether additional evidence may be submitted more than 90 days after certification of an appeal to the Board are raised by motion (see Rule 609, paragraph (i), and Rule 1304, paragraph (b) §§ 20.609(i) and 20.1304(b) of this part). Unless raised orally at a personal hearing before Members of the Board, motions for consideration by the Board must be made in writing. No formal type of document is required. The motion may be in the form of a letter which contains the necessary information.

(m)Paralegal means a graduate of a course of paralegal instruction given by a school which has been approved by a recognized accrediting association, or an individual who has equivalent legal experience.

(n)Past-due benefits means a nonrecurring payment resulting from a benefit, or benefits, granted on appeal or awarded on the basis of a claim reopened after a denial by the Board of Veterans' Appeals or the lump sum payment which represents the total amount of recurring cash payments which accrued between the effective date of the award, as determined by applicable laws and regulations, and the date of the grant of the benefit by the agency of original jurisdiction, the Board of Veterans' Appeals, or an appellate court.

(o)Presiding Member means that Member of the Board who presides over a hearing, whether conducted as a single Member or panel hearing.

(p)Simultaneously contested claim refers to the situation in which the allowance of one claim results in the disallowance of another claim involving the same benefit or the allowance of one claim results in the payment of a lesser benefit to another claimant.

(q)State includes any State, possession, territory, or Commonwealth of the United States, as well as the District of Columbia.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501(a))
[57 FR 4109, Feb. 3, 1992, as amended at 61 FR 20449, May 7, 1996; 67 FR 36104, May 23, 2002; 69 FR 53808, Sept. 3, 2004; 79 FR 57698, Sept. 25, 2014]