Appeal Options Following a VA Form 10182 – Decision Review Request (Notice of Disagreement to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (BVA)) Denial
It is not uncommon for a Veteran to receive a Decision Review Request Denial. The 2017 Appeals Modernization Act (AMA) significantly streamlined the VA disability appeals process. However, the AMA did not necessarily improve the quality of the review process or guarantee more favorable results. Additionally, the AMA created so many choices that many Veterans are unsure of their legal options following a denial.
A VA disability attorney gives you solid advice about your choices. This advice includes the pros and cons of each alternative. The VA claims process is supposed to be without adversary and pro-Veteran. Still, the legal intricacies of the process have undermined the benefit of the system. An experienced VA disability attorney can help navigate the VA system to a favorable outcome.
When a Veteran receives the first negative decision, there are several options.
- Submit new evidence and ask for another decision on the claim
- Argue legal error to a more experienced Claims Examiner
- Or appeal to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (BVA).
What if the veteran has pursued the claim without an attorney? He or she is left with the question of what to do when the BVA has continued to deny the claim. Being that the Department of Veteran Appeals is the last level of appeal.
Appeal to Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims
The Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC) is the appellate court assigned to review decisions by the BVA. The CAVC is outside of the VA system and is where the process becomes “adversarial.” In other words, the VA now is an opposing party to the Veteran. And the VA has its own lawyer representing its interests and defending its prior decisions and actions. Not having an experienced VA disability attorney representing the Veteran at this stage will almost guarantee the appeal will be lost. However, with an experienced attorney, the success rate is much higher.
Prior to the AMA, appealing to the unfavorable Board decision to the CAVC was the only way to preserve the appeal rights of the claim. The CAVC, except for in the rarest of cases, cannot grant VA benefits. However, a successful order from the Court can provide the Veteran with a powerful tool of enforcement. Compelling the VA to re-adjudicate the claim.
Even under AMA, many cases will still benefit from appealing to the CAVC for that very reason. However, there are other options the Veteran can choose and still preserve his/her appeal rights and full benefits for their claim if they are successful.
Request the Board to Revise or Reconsider Its Unfavorable Decision
While this was technically an option prior to the AMA, it is a rarely successful option. A motion for the Board to reconsider must establish a rare and unique error called “Clear and Unmistakable” error. This is a very high bar and is rarely granted. As such, it is not normally the best option after a BVA denial.
File Supplemental Claim
Under the AMA, the Veteran can now choose to file a supplemental claim within one year of the Board’s decision and still preserve their appeal rights and benefits. Like other Supplemental Claims, the Veteran will need to submit adequate evidence such that will require the VA to adjudicate the claim. This might be a good option if the Veteran obtains strong and clear evidence to support their claim, such that waiting until after a CAVC order to submit this evidence would be an unnecessary delay to getting benefits.
Rely on Experienced Attorneys
If you are disappointed with the results of a BVA appeal, you have legal options. For a free consultation with an experienced Veterans disability lawyer, contact the Cameron Firm, P.C. at 800-861-7262 or fill out the contact box to your right. We are here to represent Veterans nationwide.
This article is for educational and marketing purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship.