Often, Veterans head to the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC) expecting that they’ll be either approved or denied benefits. However, it’s common that the CVAC will remand the case. Knowing what this means can help you better plan for the next steps in the appeal process.
What to Expect From a Remand
A remand is not an approval or denial. The remand requires the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA) to fix the specific legal errors it made and issue a new decision. When this happens, you are essentially being given another chance to argue that you are entitled to VA disability benefits.
When you receive a CVAC remand, you’re not being guaranteed a specific outcome. The BVA will make a new decision—which could be an approval of benefits, a denial of benefits, or a remand back to the VA regional office or agency of original jurisdiction.
When the BVA receives notice from the CVAC of the remand, it will issue you a letter giving you 90 days to submit new evidence to support your appeal. You do not have to submit new evidence, but additional supporting documentation can often strengthen your case. If you decide to forgo submitting new evidence, you can waive the 90-day evidence period and ask for your case to proceed based on the original record.
A decision regarding the CVAC remand won’t be made immediately following the 90 day evidence period. Cases are heard in order of docket number, so patience is still key at this point in the process.
Options If You’re Unhappy With the Second BVA Decision
If you’re unhappy with the second BVA decision made in your case, you can appeal it back to the CAVC. You will have 120 days from the mailing date of the BVA decision to do this.
If you are denied at the CAVC level, you must appeal to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals or reopen the claim to start all over. Reopening the claim will likely result in a much later effective date of disability, and there is no guarantee the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals will take your case.
How We Can Help
Working with an experienced Veterans benefits attorney is the best way to build a strong case for the disability benefits you need to provide for yourself and your family. Please contact our office today to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation to discuss how we can assist with your VA disability appeal.