The Board of Veterans’ Appeals (BVA) will issue a remand if it determines that additional information or evidence is required before a decision can be made. It is the local VA regional office’s job to complete further development in order to obtain the information the Board requires. The Board’s remand contains specific instructions to the regional office, such as to request the Veteran’s service records or schedule a VA medical examination.
It is important to note that a remand from the Board is neither a grant nor a denial on the issue that is remanded. Rather, it means the Board has found that there is not sufficient evidence of record for a decision to be made at that time.
What causes the Board to issue a remand?
The Board issues remands in several situations. Sometimes, it is because the BVA believes the regional office did not review your claim correctly the first time. Perhaps there was more evidence it needed to gather before rendering a decision. Or maybe the regional office did not follow the law correctly.
Other situations in which the Board might issue a remand include:
- Your disability worsened in scope since your initial application and there is no recent medical examination of record.
- New evidence has been submitted that the regional office has yet to review.
What is an example of a situation that would prompt a remand?
Let’s say you are a veteran who submits a claim based on a chronic back ailment that originated from a service-related injury 10 years ago. You visit an orthopedist to document the extent of your injury, and you submit the doctor’s report as evidence with your claim.
The orthopedist’s report does a good job detailing your condition and its effects on your life, but it fails to opine on whether your diagnosis is related to military service.
Citing lack of sufficient evidence, the regional office denies your claim. You file an appeal and your case eventually goes before the Board. The Board looks at the evidence and determines it cannot make a decision based on the medical evidence of record, so it sends your case back to the regional office with instructions to gather more medical evidence to determine if your condition is connected to your service-related injury.
What happens after the Board issues a remand?
When the Board issues a remand, jurisdiction of your VA claims file is returned to the regional office. If upon completion of the remand instructions the regional office continues to deny your claim, you will be issued a Supplemental Statement of the Case and your appeal will be sent back before the Board. If upon completion of the Board’s remand instructions the regional office reaches a favorable decision, it will issue a new rating decision.
A qualified, experienced VA disability attorney can help you build the strongest appeal and give you the best chance of a favorable outcome. The veterans’ advocates at Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD will pursue your case aggressively. Call today for a consultation: 401-331-6300.