Veterans’ Benefits – Can A Remand Be Appealed?

In my last article about remands, we looked at what the Board of Veterans Appeals is likely to do when it determines that the Regional Office did not apply the proper methodology in deciding a claim.  The Regional Office’s error in deciding a claim could take many forms but usually involves not considering or gathering material evidence or not applying a particular legal principle correctly.

This article will look at what options veterans have once they receive a remand from the Board of Veterans Appeals back to the Regional Office.

Understanding the Remand Decision

Remember that a remand is an order on an appeal sending the claim back to the agency of original jurisdiction (“AOJ”).  The remand sets forth what was done wrong and how the AOJ should go about deciding it this time.

These remand decisions are often confusing.  I find many veterans were expecting a letter resembling a rating decision with a numerical rating of their percentage of disability.  When they get a BVA order that does not assign a rating, they assume they were given a 0% rating or that the BVA decided the disability was not service-connected.The good news is that is not what a remand means.  The bad news is that, while not a loss, a remand does mean additional time before a final decision.  Upon learning the long-awaited decision from the BVA means additional months or even years until benefits will begin, some veterans want to appeal the BVA’s remand to avoid further delay.

Many veterans want to know what they can do when VA remands their claim Can I Appeal the BVA’s Remand Decision?

Certain decisions by the BVA can be appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (“CAVC”).  However, this option is only available for final decisions.

A remand is not a final decision because it does not decide the ultimate issue in the claim.  Instead, a remand sends the claim “back down the ladder” for VA to consider the claim in a different way.  An unknowing veteran who attempts to appeal a remand to the CAVC will incur unnecessary effort and hassle on an appeal that will end up being dismissed.

What the Regional Office Does with a Remand

Since an appeal of a remand is not possible, that means the only choice is to be patient while the claim is decided (hopefully properly this time) by the Regional Office.  However, being patient does not necessarily mean sitting and doing nothing in the meantime.

The Regional Office will be taking steps to decide the claim in accordance with the BVA’s instructions.  This may mean developing the evidence needed to consider the claim.  That can take the form of scheduling additional medical examinations, requesting service treatment records, private physician treatment records, Social Security records, etc.

What You Can Do While You Wait

It may be beneficial to provide evidence that will help the Regional Office reach the correct decision in the claim.  You can develop evidence to try to prove your claim while waiting for the remand process.  This may help you avoid additional remands in the future and get benefits quicker.

A veterans disability attorney can help you decide if this will help.  An attorney may suggest a private medical examination to provide a helpful expert medical opinion.  Other times, the attorney can help the veteran locate documentation of in-service events to establish service-connection of the claimed disability.

Regardless of the particular situation, it is important to view the delay associated with a remand as an additional opportunity to improve your claim as much as possible.  Many veterans find the delay frustrating.  But, taking the right approach gives you the best chance of eventually receiving the benefits you should.

I would be happy to talk to you about how you can use the VA’s slow-moving process to your advantage.  The best way to do that is a free veterans disability consultation.  Click on this article to find out some more information about what a free consultation is and how it works.

If you want to set one up now, just call our office at (770) 214-8885 or complete and submit this short consultation request form.

Travis Studdard is an attorney who focuses on representing veterans in VA disability compensation claims.  He regularly writes about issues that are important to veterans and their families.

You can subscribe to his Veterans Disability channel on YouTube.

Rita BarnesRita Barnes
00:03 20 Jan 22
This is a great group of people who really care about your well being. They all treated me as though I was family and helped me with my work comp case in more ways than the average would have.Thank you Jason and Thank you Tina! For doing an awesome job.
Cortex ButlerCortex Butler
18:09 29 Dec 21
I am a Veteran of United States Air Force and was awarded my first 30% in 1996 and have been fighting for my rating for 26 years I came to Perkins and Studdard in 2019 while my mom was in a terrible incident and was given to much anesthesia and through GODS Grace she was spared her life, She is disabled since 2018 and I have been struggling with my life and issues and yet I didn’t call the law firm every 10 minutes or call being rude anytime, I mentioned this as I got to know Jessica more than just a phone call and Mr Studdard was always available when not working on other cases or in court, They always called back and Never had to do a call back, My Review is Simple in Life there peaks and valleys and it doesn’t stop because you have issues, Perkins & Studdard took my case in 2019 in 2021 I received my 100% from VA, I Was Never Rude, I was Never Promised Success, I Was Never Lied too and I was Always Treated with Respect, Friendliness, and Kindness the Real Stuff not a (Money Thing) If You want a firm that Cares about the Client and will work on your case even through a pandemic, Will not lie, will not promise anything will communicate your case and will Give you their Best ALWAYS THIS IS THE Best Law Firm for VETS HANDS DOWN Perkins and Studdard THERE IS NO OTHER 100% we had 5 calls Total Case That’s Taking Care Of Business
annetteMomma nokesannetteMomma nokes
14:29 12 Sep 16
Jason and his paralegal Lisa were on point and on top of their game when it came to handling my worker's comp. injury case. I tried going it alone and the insurance carrier pushed me around. They denied extra physical therapy. They denied injections the doctor recommended to ease my pain. When I turned my case over to Jason things turned around, QUICK. They were at all times attentive and on top of my case. I cannot recommend Jason and his staff enough. If you are hurt at work, this is the firm you want on YOUR side.
Sheila KirklinSheila Kirklin
23:11 12 May 16
Jason Perkins, was my lawyer in a workers comp. case, my case has settled now, and I am very happy for all Jason and his office hard work on my case, he was always there to help me out with any questions that I had or help I needed. Jason is a excellent lawyer and if I ever need another one I would only go to Perkins,Because I believe they would be able to help me in any situation I am in need of..
Anna PabonAnna Pabon
23:16 13 Sep 15
I recommend Perkins Law Firm. Everyone I came in contact with there was very nice. Kim was very helpful and any time I had a question she made sure I got an answer. Ann Margaret really took the time to explain things to me.

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