Help! My VA Disability Case Has Been Remanded—What Happens Now?

If you’ve appealed your VA disability case, it can be remanded back to a lower authority because more information is needed. A remand is an official determination that a party cannot fairly decide your claim as it stands, so it’s returned to a lower power for appeal using a given set of instructions. For instance, if your case was remanded due to lack of medical evidence, the lower authority should make an attempt to develop the medical facts of your case before issuing a decision.

What Happens After a Remand?

A remand can be issued from any higher authority in your case to a lower one—for instance, your case can be remanded from the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA) to your regional VA office, to the BVA from the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC), or from a federal judge to an administrative law judge.

If your case has been remanded by the CAVC, the following questions may help you understand what happens next:

  • What will the court do? CAVC cases are usually remanded back to the BVA for a new decision. A remand from the CAVC means that your case is considered closed at court level, and it is up to the BVA to issue a final decision after performing the actions stated in the remand.
  • What does the Board do? The BVA will examine the details of your case under the directions from the court. The BVA will then uphold its original decision or render a new decision based on additional evidence.
  • What should I do? If any action is required of you after your case is remanded, you will be notified by mail.  If the BVA issues another denial, you can appeal the decision.

Is There Any benefit to a Remand?

One benefit of a remand is that it is not a denial of your case; rather, it’s an opportunity for your claim to be given more consideration (and usually more evidence). If your claim is denied after a remand—and denied after appeal to the CAVC—you must then appeal to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals or file a request to reopen the claim and start all over—usually with a much later effective date of disability. A remand, on the other hand, gives your claim a second chance at being approved without filing an appeal and with your original disability date still in effect.

If you need help after your VA disability case has been remanded, contact Cuddigan Law today to have us explain the details of your case at no cost to you.

 

Sean D. Cuddigan
SSA and VA Disability Attorney in Omaha, Nebraska