Veterans’ Benefits – What is a Remand?

Many, if not most, veterans who apply for VA compensation or pension benefits will disagree with the ratings decision they receive from the Regional Office (RO).  Luckily, these claims examiners at the Regional Office do not have the final say over whether veterans receive benefits.

By timely filing a Notice of Disagreement (NOD), a veteran can appeal his or her claim to the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA).  This appeals process can take a long time, usually many months or even years.  When veterans finally receive a decision from the BVA, it may not be what they were expecting.

Many people think an appeal will result in a decision either affirming or denying the decision made by the RO.  While that may be true in many areas of law, that is not usually the case in claims before VA for veterans disability benefits.

Many veterans find remand letters from VA confusing The long-awaited appeals decision is often in the form of a “remand.”  Because a remand is not a final decision, this can be confusing and frustrating to a veteran still waiting for the benefits to which he is entitled.

What Is a Remand

In general terms, a remand is an order from the appellate court sending a case back to a lower court with some instructions for further action to be taken by that lower court.  In terms of a VA claim, a remand is a decision from the BVA (or some other higher court) sending the claim back to the RO.

The remand will have specific instructions on what the RO should do differently to decide the claim correctly.  Rather than focusing on the outcome reached by the RO, a remand focuses on the way the RO examined the claim and arrived at a decision.

Examples of Remands

Here is an example to illustrate this point.  Suppose a veteran filed for disability compensation benefits due to a painful, arthritic knee in need of a total knee replacement.  The veteran had a Compensation and Pension (C&P) examination to determine if the current disability was due to an in-service incident twenty years prior.

However, the orthopedic doctor performing the C&P examination did not clearly indicate in his report whether the old injury became a chronic condition that resulted in the current degenerated condition of the knee.  Then, the RO denied that the disability was service-connected due to a lack of evidence establishing a nexus between military service and the current disability.

In that situation, if the case was appealed to the BVA by filing a Notice of Disagreement, the BVA would not decide whether or not the knee disability was service-connected.  Also, the BVA would not say what the disability rating percentage should be.

Instead, the BVA would (hopefully) remand the claim back to the Regional Office that issued the rating decision.  Part of the BVA’s order would instruct the RO to gather medical evidence on the Waiting for a final decision can be one of the biggest frustrations with VA benefits claims etiology (i.e., cause) of the current knee condition.  They would probably even specifically to order the Regional Office to schedule another C&P examination to have this addressed by a qualified physician.

What Happens after the Remand

Once the Regional Office has done everything required by the BVA, another rating decision will be issued by the RO.  If that decision is not satisfactory, the veteran can appeal once again to the Board of Veterans Appeals.

As you can see, the remand means more time until a final decision is reached.  Because of this, many veterans want to appeal a remand from the BVA.  Unfortunately, for reasons that are discussed in this article, that is not possible.

A VA-accredited attorney can advise you of the best steps to take in response to a remand from the BVA to improve your claim as much as possible.  If you have questions about your VA claim at any point during the claims process, talking to a VA disability attorney may be helpful.

The VA disability attorneys at our firm provide free consultations to help you get some answers to your questions.  To find out more about what a free consultation is, what you will learn, and how you can set one up, just take a look at this article.

If you are ready to set one up, there are two easy ways to do that:

    1. Call us at (770) 214-8885
    2. Complete and submit this form

Let me know if I can help.

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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