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Unfavorable VA Board Decision: What Next?

unfavorable legacy decision infographic

If your appeal has been pending in the Legacy appeals process and you receive an unfavorable decision from the Board, your only appeal option is to appeal to the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC). There are several steps involved in your CAVC appeal. To begin, A Notice of Appeal (NOA) must be filed within 120 days of your BVA decision. The Court will then notify you that your case is on appeal and will issue a Notice of Docketing. From there, VA will serve you with a complete file referred to as the Record Before the Agency (RBA). The Court will schedule a pre-briefing Conference (PBC) and send you the exact date and time. If the issues in your case are not resolved during the PBC, it will proceed to the briefing phase (Briefs are written arguments provided to the Court). Once the Court has received all the records, your case will be assigned to a judge for a decision.

In its decision, the CAVC will one of three things:

  • Affirm: The Court upholds the Board’s Decision.
  • Remand: The Court sends your appeal back to the Board with specific instructions for re-adjudication.
  • Reverse and Remand: The Court can reverse a finding of law, and remand for re-adjudication in the same decision.

It is important to note If you do not file your appeal to the CAVC within 120 days of your BVA decision, you will lose the original effective date of your Legacy appeal and will have to file a supplemental claim with new and relevant evidence at the regional office.