The Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC) is a federal court that has jurisdiction over decisions made by the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (BVA). Veterans can appeal unfavorable Board decisions to the CAVC for review, and the CAVC can determine if there was a legal error in the Board’s decision.
What Can the CAVC Do?
The CAVC will hear your case and will decide whether the Board’s decision violated a law or VA regulation. The CAVC will either affirm, reverse, or vacate the Board’s decision. The third option, vacating a decision, requires the Board to issue a new decision on the veteran’s case and fix the legal error that it made in its decision. This is called a remand.
How Will a CAVC Remand Impact My Case?
A CAVC remand gives veterans another chance to argue to the Board that they are entitled to the benefit they are seeking. A remand from the Court does not guarantee any specific outcome from the Board, it only guarantees that the Board make a new decision. That new decision could be a grant, a remand to the agency of original jurisdiction (typically a VA regional office), or a denial of benefits.
Following a CAVC remand, the Court will notify the Board of its decision and request that the Board make a new decision. In their decision, the Court will instruct the Board of what it needs to fix when it makes a new decision in the veteran’s case.
Once the Board receives the Court’s decision, it will issue a letter to the veteran giving them 90 days to submit additional evidence to the Board to support their appeal, after which the record closes and the Board can issue a new decision. Taking the 90 days and submitting evidence is optional; veterans do not have to send in more evidence if they do not wish to do so. In this case, a veteran can waive the 90 day period and request that the Board make a new decision.
In the event that a veteran wishes to take the 90 days and submit evidence, veterans must notify the Board. Once the 90 day period has passed, the Board can make a new decision on the veteran’s case. The Board does not guarantee that a decision be made immediately following the 90 day period. The veteran’s decision will rejoin the Board’s docket and will be heard in order of docket number.
What If the Board Denies Me Again?
If you receive a denial from the Board following a CAVC remand, you may be able appeal it back to the Court. Appeals to CAVC must be filed within 120 days from the mailing date of the Board’s decision. Our team of veterans lawyers can help appeal your decision to the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. Contact us for a free consultation.