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What Are My Options After the BVA Denies My Case?

Published on July 15th, 2020

The Board of Veterans Appeals, or BVA, could be the final stop of your disability compensation appeal. If they approve your claim, you will get your disability payments. On the other hand, a BVA denial does not mean that you’ve reached the end of the road. If your BVA appeal fails, you can still take your case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, or CAVC. The CAVC is a federal court that is separate from the VA, and can provide you and your legal team with the best opportunity to make your case.

At Jackson & MacNichol, we have a proven track record of bringing veterans disability cases to a positive resolution before the BVA, the CAVC, and the federal circuit court of appeals. Our experienced and compassionate veterans lawyers will give your case the attention it deserves, and work diligently on your behalf to get you the justicene you deserve. If you are dissatisfied with your rating decision, call 1(800) 524-3339 today for a free consultation about your case.

You Can Still File an Appeal in Federal Court After a BVA Denial

Most cases that go to the BVA are remanded or actually granted. If your case is remanded, it is sent back to the regional office for further development and an eventual new decision. Only a minority of cases, around 20%, get denied. No one ever wants to get a denial, but it’s important that you understand that a denial by the Board does not mean that you have to give up hope.

An appeal to the CAVC offers you the opportunity to have your case reviewed by experienced judges, who may interpret the applicable laws in a way that favors your case. The CAVC was created in the late 1980s, and includes seven permanent judges who are appointed to 15-year terms. As a result, these judges are very knowledgeable when it comes to veterans law. The court sits in Washington D.C., but it also sometimes travels to different parts of the country to hear cases.

The CAVC can only hear your case if you’ve been denied by the BVA. You can’t go directly to the court if you disagree with your initial ratings decision, and you always have to go through the disability claims review process at the VA regional office level first. If you get a BVA denial, then you have 120 days to file a Notice of Appeal, or NOA, starting on the day the BVA mailed the decision denying your claim. Your NOA must also be accompanied by a $50 filing fee, unless you request a financial hardship exception.

The court will review your case based on the written record, meaning the evidence that was already part of your case. This is not an opportunity to present new evidence, but to demonstrate to the court that the BVA misapplied the law to your case, or that the law should be reinterpreted in your favor. In most cases, the judges issue their decision after reviewing the record and reading the briefs, but in cases that present new questions of law, they may require a hearing.

Succeed in the Disability Appeals Process With an Experienced Lawyer

By the time your case reaches the CAVC level, success will depend on technical issues of law. These issues can best be articulated on your behalf by a lawyer with significant experience in veterans benefits law. At Jackson & MacNichol, we have successfully appealed hundreds of our clients’ cases before the CAVC, and we have even been able to go on to obtain favorable decisions from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. If the BVA has denied your appeal, don’t give up the fight! Instead call 1(800) 524-3339 for a free consultation.

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