It’s a common misconception among veterans that there are only two potential outcomes of an appeal: approval and denial. While your ultimate goal is obviously to have your claim for disability benefits approved, there is a third court ruling that can help you get there. A remand is not an approval or a denial; rather, it’s a demand that a case be sent back to a lower court.
Types of Remands
Remands can happen at different stages of the appeals process. This is simply a general legal term indicating a lower court should take a second look at the case. It can be thought of as a “second chance” for the outcome you desire.
When your case is remanded by the Board of Veterans' Appeals (BVA), it means that it is being sent back to the regional office for further development. This could be due to a number of factors, including a change in your condition, new case law, missing evidence, or a failure by the regional office to follow the correct procedures. The VA’s duty to assist applies to remands by the BVA, so the VA may help you gather any evidence that is needed by scheduling a new medical exam or filing requests for records.
When a case is remanded by the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC), it goes back to the BVA. The CAVC closes the case, and you wait for the BVA to issue a new decision. However, if you disagree with the new BVA decision, you still have the right to appeal to the CAVC a second time.
How an Attorney Can Help
Although you are not legally required to have an attorney assist with your disability claim, obtaining qualified representation helps ensure that your case is fully developed when it is presented to the BVA or CAVC. This reduces the risk of having multiple remands—which can unnecessarily delay your benefits.
Do You Need to Speak With a Veterans Benefits Lawyer?
If you need to speak with an experienced veterans benefits lawyer, please contact us online, or call our Virginia Beach office to schedule your free consultation. We have offices throughout Virginia, including Chesapeake, Newport News, Norfolk, and Suffolk.