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Understanding Board of Veterans Appeals Decision

Understanding Board of Veterans Appeals Decision

VA disability compensation is a monthly benefit paid to veterans who have been injured while on active duty. Both physical and mental health conditions can qualify a person for such benefits. In order for a claim to be approved, the veteran must show they have a disability that stems from their time in the service. If you have received a decision and have appealed it up to the Board of Veterans Appeals, you will eventually receive a decision from a Veterans Law Judge.  Keep reading to learn how to understand a BVA Decision.

Understanding the VA Claim Process

The VA claim process is a complicated one. Many who apply for benefits will receive a decision from their Regional Office, or RO, with which they disagree. Know that the claims examiners at the regional level do not have final say over the benefit decision. A veteran can file a Notice of Disagreement, or NOD, to appeal the decision. Upon receiving the NOD, the VA may reconsider the claim and grant benefits or deny benefits at which time the veteran may appeal the case up to the Board of Veterans Affairs, or BVA. The appeal process can take years, but will ultimately result in a BVA decision. The BVA decision can result in three different outcomes. The decision is either:

  • Overturned, or granted
  • Remanded
  • Upheld, or denied

Overturned Decisions

When the BVA overturns a decision, the veteran will be granted their request for benefits. This is a final decision on the matter, and benefits may no longer be denied. Often the decision is a remand by the BVA.

Remanded Decisions

What does remanded mean? A remand is when the Veterans Law Judge (VLJ) at the BVA who reviewed your case determines there is additional information needed to decide your claim. It asks that the claim be sent back down to the RO for additional development (i.e. an exam, pulling records etc.). The remand will include instructions for the RO to complete before rendering a new decision.

For example, if a veteran suffered a broken hip and needs a replacement, they might file for disability benefits. The veteran had a Compensation and Pension exam, or C&P, to determine if the disability stemmed from their military service. Unfortunately, the doctor did not clearly indicate whether the injury was a result of the aging process or from the veteran’s military service. The RO denied the claim because there was no evidence that the injury was connected to their time in the military.

Should the veteran choose to appeal this decision, the BVA may remand the claim back to the RO. Rather than weigh in on the disability rating or whether the hip injury was service-connected, the BVA will ask the RO to collect medical evidence of the current condition of the hip injury. The BVA may even request another C&P exam or medical opinion of the veteran’s injury to have the issue addressed by a doctor.

Upheld Decisions

When the BVA upholds an RO’s decision, a veteran is not out of options. Veterans may still file an appeal with the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, or CAVC. A federal court, the CAVC is not part of the VA. BVA decisions may also be remanded, upheld or overturned by the CAVC. Veterans may continue to appeal at the Federal Circuit Court or even petition for the case to be reviewed by the Supreme Court.

While a lawyer is not required for CAVC cases, veterans can benefit from bringing legal experts on. Although no new evidence can be entered at this point in the process, an attorney can help point out legal errors made by the Veterans Law Judge when making their decision.

How Veterans Law Group Can Help

The appeals process can be overwhelming, especially for veterans struggling with painful injuries. The Veterans Law Group can help with navigating the oftentimes difficult filing process when working through the appeal decisions. We believe our wounded warriors deserve the benefits they earned and are eager to advocate on their behalf. If you have been diagnosed with a health condition related to your time in the service and  have received a decision you are not happy with, complete our ‘consultation request’ form to see how our experienced attorneys may be able to help you.

Need Help with
Your Disability Appeal?

Get Free Consultation

  • We represent cases at all levels on appeal
  • We’ll obtain additional medical opinion evidence, when needed
  • We’ll arrange for Vocational Rehab experts to assist, when needed
  • Free Consultation

Understanding Board of Veterans Appeals Decision

Understanding Board of Veterans Appeals Decision

VA disability compensation is a monthly benefit paid to veterans who have been injured while on active duty. Both physical and mental health conditions can qualify a person for such benefits. In order for a claim to be approved, the veteran must show they have a disability that stems from their time in the service. If you have received a decision and have appealed it up to the Board of Veterans Appeals, you will eventually receive a decision from a Veterans Law Judge.  Keep reading to learn how to understand a BVA Decision.

Understanding the VA Claim Process

The VA claim process is a complicated one. Many who apply for benefits will receive a decision from their Regional Office, or RO, with which they disagree. Know that the claims examiners at the regional level do not have final say over the benefit decision. A veteran can file a Notice of Disagreement, or NOD, to appeal the decision. Upon receiving the NOD, the VA may reconsider the claim and grant benefits or deny benefits at which time the veteran may appeal the case up to the Board of Veterans Affairs, or BVA. The appeal process can take years, but will ultimately result in a BVA decision. The BVA decision can result in three different outcomes. The decision is either:

  • Overturned, or granted
  • Remanded
  • Upheld, or denied

Overturned Decisions

When the BVA overturns a decision, the veteran will be granted their request for benefits. This is a final decision on the matter, and benefits may no longer be denied. Often the decision is a remand by the BVA.

Remanded Decisions

What does remanded mean? A remand is when the Veterans Law Judge (VLJ) at the BVA who reviewed your case determines there is additional information needed to decide your claim. It asks that the claim be sent back down to the RO for additional development (i.e. an exam, pulling records etc.). The remand will include instructions for the RO to complete before rendering a new decision.

For example, if a veteran suffered a broken hip and needs a replacement, they might file for disability benefits. The veteran had a Compensation and Pension exam, or C&P, to determine if the disability stemmed from their military service. Unfortunately, the doctor did not clearly indicate whether the injury was a result of the aging process or from the veteran’s military service. The RO denied the claim because there was no evidence that the injury was connected to their time in the military.

Should the veteran choose to appeal this decision, the BVA may remand the claim back to the RO. Rather than weigh in on the disability rating or whether the hip injury was service-connected, the BVA will ask the RO to collect medical evidence of the current condition of the hip injury. The BVA may even request another C&P exam or medical opinion of the veteran’s injury to have the issue addressed by a doctor.

Upheld Decisions

When the BVA upholds an RO’s decision, a veteran is not out of options. Veterans may still file an appeal with the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, or CAVC. A federal court, the CAVC is not part of the VA. BVA decisions may also be remanded, upheld or overturned by the CAVC. Veterans may continue to appeal at the Federal Circuit Court or even petition for the case to be reviewed by the Supreme Court.

While a lawyer is not required for CAVC cases, veterans can benefit from bringing legal experts on. Although no new evidence can be entered at this point in the process, an attorney can help point out legal errors made by the Veterans Law Judge when making their decision.

How Veterans Law Group Can Help

The appeals process can be overwhelming, especially for veterans struggling with painful injuries. The Veterans Law Group can help with navigating the oftentimes difficult filing process when working through the appeal decisions. We believe our wounded warriors deserve the benefits they earned and are eager to advocate on their behalf. If you have been diagnosed with a health condition related to your time in the service and  have received a decision you are not happy with, complete our ‘consultation request’ form to see how our experienced attorneys may be able to help you.

Need Help with
Your Disability Appeal?

Get Free Consultation

  • We represent cases at all levels on appeal
  • We’ll obtain additional medical opinion evidence, when needed
  • We’ll arrange for Vocational Rehab experts to assist, when needed
  • Free Consultation

"After several years of struggling with the VA and not much to show for it but frustration, your law group was a sign of relief. You guys reduced the level of stress significantly, knowing that I finally had someone on my side who understood how to work/deal with the VA system."

  • James H.|El Cajon, CA

    $20,680

"Best decision I have ever made was calling VLG for help. Mark Lippman walked me through everything from start to finish and without his help I would still be waiting on my claim. So thankful more than words can explain. By far the best lawyers I ever talked to or used or even heard people talk about. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You helped me more than I ever dreamed of."

  • Brian H.|North Carolina

    Awarded $92,000

Need Help with
Your Disability Appeal?

Get Free Consultation

  • We represent cases at all levels on appeal
  • We’ll obtain additional medical opinion evidence, when needed
  • We’ll arrange for Vocational Rehab experts to assist, when needed
  • Free Consultation

"I believe Mr. Lippman was entitled to more compensation than he received. He treated me more than fair. He listened to me. When you're hurting and tired of fighting the system, that means a lot. Mark performed admirably, quickly and professionally. I am more than happy with the final result."

  • Danny R.

    Fort Lauderdale, FL

Awarded $158,738