The United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC) is often thought of as the final step in the VA appeals process. The CAVC reviews Board of Veteran’s Appeals (BVA) decisions based on the existing record only—no oral testimony or new evidence is allowed. However, you’re not necessarily out of luck if you disagree with the CAVC’s ruling.
Filing a Motion for Reconsideration
If you are unhappy with the CAVC decision in your case, you have 21 days to file a motion for reconsideration. This deadline extends to 51 days if you are outside the United States, Puerto Rico, or the Virgin Islands.
If your case was decided by a single judge, you can move for:
- Reconsideration by the single judge
- A panel decision
- Reconsideration by a single judge or panel decision if the single judge denies reconsideration
If your case was decided by a panel, you can move for:
- Reconsideration by the panel
- Full Court review
- Reconsideration by the panel or full Court review if the panel denies reconsideration
If your case was decided by the full Court, you can only move for reconsideration by the full Court.
It can take as long as six months for the CAVC to act on your motion for reconsideration.
Taking Your Case to the U.S. Court of Appeals
If you don’t agree with the CAVC’s decision on your reconsideration motion, you have 60 days to file an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. However, this Court can only review legal issues related to specific VA laws. If your case doesn’t involve concerns with the interpretation of the law, your last option for proving that you are entitled to a service connection is the CAVC unless you wish to start over with a new claim.
We Can Help
By the time your case is ready to reach the CAVC, you’ve invested considerable time and energy pursuing your right to VA disability benefits. The best thing you can do for yourself at this stage is to hire an experienced Veterans benefits attorney with CAVC appellate experience. Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation.