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 § 14.631 of this chapter. It does not include representatives accredited under § 14.629(a) of this chapter, attorneys accredited under § 14.629(b) of this chapter, or a person authorized to represent a claimant for a particular claim under § 14.630 of this chapter.

(c)Appellant means a claimant who has filed an appeal to the Board of Veterans' Appeals either as a legacy appeal or in the modernized review system, as those terms are defined in § 19.2 of this chapter, and Rule 4 (§ 20.4 of this part), respectively.

(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 a written communication requesting a determination of entitlement or evidencing a belief in entitlement, to a specific benefit under the laws administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs submitted on an application form prescribed by the Secretary.

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

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

(i)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, a request to correct a hearing transcript (see Rule 714 (§ 20.714)) is raised by motion. 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.

(j)Past-due benefits means a nonrecurring payment resulting from a benefit, or benefits, granted on appeal or awarded on the basis of a claim readjudicated 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.

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

(l)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.

(m)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; 84 FR 179, Jan. 18, 2019]