When you appeal an initial denial of your disability benefits, the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA) may decide to remand your case. This is a frustrating development because it creates a delay in processing your claim for benefits. However, a remand can also be considered positive news because it means the initial claim denial has not been upheld.
Causes of Remanded Appeals
“Remand” is a legal term that means a superior court is sending an appeal back to a lower court for another look. A remand means that the BVA is sending your case back to the regional VA office for additional development. With your appeal as presented, the BVA believes it cannot make a full or fair determination.
A remand can occur:
- If your condition has worsened
- There has been a change in the law that is relevant to your case
- New evidence was added on appeal
- Evidence was not gathered correctly the first time
- A VA medical examination is needed
- The local VA office needs to follow certain legal procedures that afford you due process
Your Next Steps
In some cases, there is nothing you need to do after your appeal is remanded. However, if there are steps you must take to continue your claim development, you will be notified by mail.
The duty to assist law applies to remands. This means the VA has a duty to help you gather the necessary evidence to develop your claim. This might include tasks such as scheduling you a C&P exam or getting records on your behalf.
When the remand instructions have been followed, the regional office may decide to grant your claim and award you disability benefits. Alternatively, they can continue to deny your claim. If you are denied, you will be sent a Supplemental Statement of the Case (SSOC), and your case will be returned to the BVA.
There is no limit to how many times your case can be remanded. However, when you are represented by an experienced Veterans benefits attorney, delays can be minimized by ensuring you have the correct evidence necessary to support your claim for benefits. Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation to discuss how we can assist you with your VA disability appeal.