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What happens to an appeal if the claimant (veteran) dies before a decision is issued?

A: According to the law, the death of an appellant generally ends the appellant’s appeal. So, if an appellant dies, the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (BVA) normally dismisses the appeal without issuing a decision. However, the rights of a deceased appellant’s survivors are not affected by this action. Survivors may still file a claim at the regional office for any benefits to which they may be entitled. {38 U.S.C. § 7104(a); 38 C.F.R. § 20.1302}