What Are The Different Types Of BVA Decisions? - Jackson & MacNichol Law Offices

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What Are The Different Types of BVA Decisions?

Published on May 29th, 2020

When you appeal your disability case to the Board of Veterans Appeals, or BVA, three things might happen. The BVA can either grant, deny, or remand your case. According to their most recently available annual report, the most likely outcome to a BVA appeal is a remand, with almost 40% of cases receiving this decision. After a remand, your case will get sent back to the regional office for additional development, which usually means that it lacks the critical medical evidence or service records required to be approved for benefits.

At Jackson & MacNichol, our experienced veterans benefits lawyers have proven their ability to obtain positive case outcomes before the BVA. By leveraging our knowledge of the law and expertly advocating at every stage of the process, we are able to get our clients the justice they deserve. If you disagree with your decision, call us today at 1(888) 492-2941 for a free consultation about appealing your veterans disability claim.

A Denial of Benefits Is the Worst Possible BVA Decision

One possible outcome of your BVA appeal is a denial, although only around 20% of cases are denied. Getting a denial is obviously the worst outcome you can get for your appeal, but it isn’t the end of the road. If the BVA denies your appeal, you still have the option of taking your case before the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, or CAVC. This is a federal court of appeals that is separate from the VA, and its decisions can be further appealed in federal circuit court.

It is more likely that the BVA will overturn the ratings decision and to grant your benefits, which happens in 36% of cases. Unlike a denial, the grant of benefits by the Board is final. This means that the VA cannot appeal this decision to a federal court. Once the BVA grants your benefits, you can continue to legally enjoy them as long as your disability or unemployability continues.

Why Did My Claim Get Remanded?

The most common outcome at the Board is a remand. A remand order sends your case back to the regional office (RO) with instructions on how to develop the case. A remand can happen for several reason, including:

  • Lack of evidence–The most common reason the BVA remands cases is because of a lack of evidence. As a result, the BVA may remand your case and request that the RO order a new C&P exam or to find additional service records.
  • New theory of case–On appeal, your lawyer could raise an argument explaining why you deserve compensation that you were not aware of when you made your original claim. The BVA may send your case to the RO for it to process your claim based on this new theory of compensation.
  • Change in the law–It’s rare, but sometimes federal law changes while your appeal is being processed. As a result, the BVA may remand your claim back to the RO for a decision that follows the new law.
  • Your condition worsens–By the time the BVA hears your case, your condition may have worsened, in which case the RO may be told to conduct a new C&P exam or accept additional evidence.
  • Processing error–The BVA review may conclude that the RO made a mistake in your claim, and send the case back for them to process it correctly.

A Veterans Benefits Lawyer Can Help You Succeed on Appeal

Some veterans are able to successfully appeal the denial of their disability compensation on their own, but BVA data shows that veterans who go through the process with the help of a lawyer have a significantly higher chance of winning. A lawyer can review your case and focus on areas of fact or law that require further development, thus reducing the risk that your case will be denied or remanded by the BVA. If you are considering an appeal, call Jackson & MacNichol today at 1(888) 492-2941 for a free consultation.

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