VA Remands and How Long They Take
Rachel Foster: Welcome to CCK Live Under 5:00. I’m Rachel Foster and today I’ll be explaining VA remands in the legacy system. While remands still exist in the new modernized AMA system and share many similarities, there are some procedural differences that we’ll briefly highlight. So, let’s get started.
Remand is a legal term that describes the process in which a superior court sends back an appeal to a lower court for another look. In this case, we’ll focus on the Board and the Regional Office. When the board makes a decision on your appeal, they can grant, deny, or remand your claim. If your claim or a specific issue from your claim is remanded, it will be sent back to the VA Regional Office for further evidence collection, or for other procedural reasons. For example, like a duty to assist error.
Some reasons the Board may remand your appeal are if there has been a change in the law, your disability has worsened while pending on appeal, you introduce new evidence to the record, the Regional Office didn’t process your claim correctly, or the Regional Office did not gather enough evidence or did not gather the right evidence.
For each remand, the Board will lay out specific remand instructions that must be followed by the Regional Office before the Board can rehear the case. Some common pieces of evidence or information that the Board will request in remand include compensation and pension examinations, service records, could be medical records, or other types of evidence from the veteran such as lay statements, reports from caregivers, or forms.
As for the process, once your appeal is remanded, it is sent back to the Regional Office. Evidence is gathered, and if more evidence is needed, the Regional Office may request the appropriate evidence from you, a research center, or your providers if you’re treating. VA will often request a response within 30 days of their letter asking for this information.
In some situations, VA may ask you to attend another compensation and pension exam. After this, the Regional Office can either grant your claim or continue to deny your claim. If they grant, they would then issue a rating decision awarding benefits. If denied and the case is in the legacy system, the Regional Office will send you a supplemental statement of the case and return your case automatically to the Board. If you’re in the new AMA system, the Regional Office will issue a rating decision either way and you will have all the appeal options available: Supplemental Claim lane, Higher-Level Review, or back to the Board.
When the case goes back to the Board, they can again either grant, deny, or remand your case again. There is no limit on the number of times a Board judge may remand your case. If your case is remanded a second time, we’ll go through the process again. If the board denies your claim, you may choose to appeal to the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. Or, if you’re in the new AMA system, you can file a supplemental claim with new and relevant evidence.
So, for how long this process takes, once your claim arrives at the Regional Office, it should be given expeditious treatment. But depending on the remand instructions, it can take anywhere from three to 12 months or sometimes longer before the Regional Office issues any decision. If the Regional Office denies your claim in legacy, your case is automatically returned to the Board. In AMA, you can choose to go back to the Board or opt for a different lane such as the Supplemental Claim lane or Higher-Level Review. Once the appeal reaches the Board, it usually takes several months to review it, depending on the Board’s current backlog.
That’s all I have for you today. Thank you for watching. For more information on VA disability benefits for tinnitus or for other conditions, please visit our blog at https://cck-law.com/blog/ or browse our library of YouTube videos. Also, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel to stay in the know.
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