What You Need to Know About the Court Of Appeals for Veterans’ Claims

The Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims was created in 1988 to allow veterans the right to judicial review of decisions made by of the Board of Veterans Appeals. If you applied for VA disability benefits and were denied and then you appealed that decision to the Board of Veterans Appeals and lost there, too—your next stop is the Court of Appeals for Veterans’ Claims.

The C-A-V-C is not a part of the VA at all—it is an entirely separate institution that is part of the federal court system. The Court is made up of seven judges who serve 15 year terms. When your case is heard by the C-A-V-C you will not get a jury trial. Except in rare cases the Court’s decisions are rendered by a single judge. Because it is part of the federal court system, the Court is very formal with many strict rules governing the appeals process and procedures. For this reason, it is important to have a lawyer by your side to navigate you through the appeals process.

You have 120 days from the time the Board of Veterans Appeals mails its final decision to file a notice of appeal with the C-A-V-C. If you miss the 120 day filing deadline, the Court may still hear your appeal if you have a legitimate reason. The filing fee costs 50 dollars but may be waived if you can demonstrate financial hardship.

The Court will not consider any new facts in your case. Only the evidence already on the record from the BVA appeal can be considered. This is another instance where a VA accredited attorney can be invaluable in properly advancing the best legal arguments for your case.

There are three possible outcomes from a C-A-V-C hearing. The first is the Court can award you benefits, but this seldom happens. They can also deny your claim outright. Or, the Court may remand—that is, send your case back—to the BVA for a new decision. If you lose your appeal with the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, you have the right to appeal to the Federal Circuit Court. If you win your appeal with the C-A-V-C, the VA has the right to appeal the decision.

The path to winning VA disability can be difficult to navigate, but we are here to help you get the benefits you are entitled to. Call us today for a free evaluation of your case.

 

 

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