Berry Law often refers veterans to talented County Veteran Service Officers (“CVSO’s”) to assist veterans in the initial stages of filing claims with the VA for disability compensation. Most CVSO’s are successful advocates on behalf of veterans and in some cases no further assistance is needed.
At the same time, after a certain stage in the proceedings, many veterans can also benefit from experienced legal assistance, particularly at the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (“CAVC”).
The CAVC is a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., that exists specifically to review the decisions of the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (BVA). The BVA is a branch of the Department of Veterans Affairs that reviews findings of the VA’s Regional Offices.
Veterans’ disability compensation claims that are denied by BVA can be appealed to the CAVC within 120 days of the denial by the BVA (unless certain circumstances exist to justify equitable tolling).
Only attorneys are authorized to practice law before the CAVC. After denial of a claim by the BVA, some CVSO’s may suggest veterans reopen their claim before the Regional Office, rather than encouraging veterans to appeal to the CAVC, when it may have been more beneficial to the veteran to appeal directly to the CAVC.
CVSO’s may correctly note that reopening a claim may give veterans another bite at the apple; however, it also resets the date of the claim for benefits to the date of the claim to reopen, which may ultimately mean less money for the veteran. Further, to reopen the claim, the veteran must supply new and material evidence. In some cases the VA will not reopen the claim because the evidence is not new or material.
In contrast, experienced attorneys at the Berry Law can help preserve the earlier effective date of the claim by appealing directly to the CAVC, and at no initial cost to the veteran.
Success on appeal will preserve the effective date of the original claim, possibly making the veteran eligible for a larger back pay award, which may mean more money for the veteran. Berry Law will not charge a fee unless it is successful and it will also offset any fee by any attorneys’ fees it receives by the Court.
If you would like assistance appealing your denied claims to the CAVC, we can help you preserve the date of your award. Contact the Berry Law for a free initial consultation: 888-883-2483.
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