Public forum to address veterans issues, including claims appeals process

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Beverly Creamer, (808) 389-5736
Media Consultant, William S. Richardson School of Law
Posted: Jan 15, 2015

The Honorable Coral Wong Pietsch
The Honorable Coral Wong Pietsch

Veterans and their caregivers, families and advocates are invited to learn more about veterans services and benefits, including the veterans claims appeals process, when the UH Law School hosts a free public forum on Tuesday, January 27.

The Honorable Coral Wong Pietsch, who was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims by President Obama in 2012, will offer a judicial overview.  Honolulu Regional Office for Veterans Affairs Director Tracey Betts will discuss veterans services, benefits, and the basics of the claims appeals process.

The forum, “Practice Before the CAVC and Veterans Issues," will begin at 3 p.m. in the Law School Library at 2525 Dole Street on the UH Mānoa campus. An afternoon tea reception will follow.

The UH Elder Law Program (UHELP) and Elder Law Clinic at the William S. Richardson School of Law are sponsoring the forum -- the latest in a series of “Marigold Seminars” created by UHELP to explore successful aging for Hawai‘i’s elder population, including veterans.

For more than two decades, UHELP has provided legal assistance to thousands of elders and their caregivers and continues its specific support of the needs of veterans. UHELP is directed by Professor James Pietsch, who is himself a veteran.  He will serve as forum moderator.

Visitor parking is available for $5 in the Parking Structure. Please RSVP by Monday, January 26, to 956-6544 or


* The Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC) is part of the U.S. Judiciary and is not part of the Department of Veterans Affairs. It has exclusive jurisdiction over decisions of the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (BVA). Veterans may apply for a wide range of benefits and, if denied, they may appeal. Appeals are processed first at the local VA level, then go to the BVA, and finally to the CAVC.

* Judge Pietsch has had a distinguished military and civilian public service career. She served six years on active duty in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps and thereafter in the U.S. Army Reserve, where she rose to the rank of Brigadier General. She was the first woman of Asian ancestry to be promoted to the rank of general officer in the U.S. Army. As a volunteer Department of Defense civilian, she deployed to Iraq and was seconded to the Department of State and as Deputy Rule of Law Advisor in the Baghdad Provincial Reconstruction Team.

* Betts was appointed Director of the Honolulu Regional Office of the Veterans Benefits Administration in 2009.  She is responsible for directing an $8.9 million budget to deliver VA benefits to more than 129,000 veterans and their beneficiaries in a 4.6 million mile geographic area that includes Hawai‘i, Guam, American Samoa and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. The latter includes Saipan, Tinian and Rota.

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