What Happens When a VA Appeal is Remanded?
When the Board of Veterans’ Appeals remands an appeal, it is sent back to the VA regional office for additional development and reconsideration. A remand occurs when the regional office needs to gather additional or updated evidence in order to issue a new decision on a claim.
There are many reasons why the BVA remands a case. If new evidence is introduced on appeal, or if the Veteran’s disability worsens, a remand may be necessary. These situations can occur quite frequently due to the length of the appeals process. By the time an appeal reaches the BVA, it will be several years after the Veteran filed the initial claim, and the disability may have undergone serious changes.
The VA’s Duty to Assist
Upon remand, the VA has the Duty to Assist you with your claim. This duty exists when you first submit a completed claim, and it requires the VA to help you gather evidence and otherwise assist in the development of your claim.
When your case is remanded, VA’s Duty to Assist may require the VA to take various actions to help you. They may schedule a new medical exam, gather new records, or consider new evidence.
The BVA will provide instructions to the regional VA office whenever a case is remanded. The regional office is required to follow these instructions before issuing a new decision. In some cases, the BVA may order the regional office to consider additional evidence. In other cases, your disability may be evaluated under a different criteria than it was initially.
Appeals are also sometimes remanded due to insufficient evidence gathering. The VA has attempted to reduce these types of appeals by gathering evidence correctly the first time. However, these situations do still occur occasionally.
After following the BVA’s orders, the regional office will issue a new decision. If the Regional Office grants your claim, you will receive a rating decision with a Notice of Action letter explaining your grant. If after the additional development the Regional Office again denies your claim, you will receive a Supplemental Statement of the Case explaining the denial and your case will go back before the Board for review.
A remand can sometimes be considered a good outcome for a veteran’s case because the initial claim denial is not upheld. It also gives you the opportunity to further develop your case. However, you also want to avoid multiple remands because they can further delay your case. Try to avoid remands by making sure your claim is fully developed before it is certified to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals.
For help with your appeal, talk to the veterans law practitioners at Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick. Our veterans lawyers have helped thousands of veterans with their VA disability compensationappeals. Contact us for a no-cost consultation.
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