VA Disability Claims Appeals in Federal Court
A veteran who disagrees with the decision made on their VA benefits claim by the Board of Veterans’ Appeals can bring an appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. The CAVC is a federal court of record that Congress established in 1988. It court can hear cases from anywhere in the United States.
The CVAC examines how the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (BVA) applied relevant statutes and regulations to a veteran’s claim for benefits and determines whether the BVA made any mistakes. A decision by the CAVC can change the future of your claim and other veterans’ claims.
Berry Law Firm focuses on helping veterans at the CAVC level. We understand how an appeal before this court offers a veteran an important opportunity to argue the core issues of the veteran’s disability claim. We know how to take advantage of that opportunity.
Veterans Serving Veterans
The Berry Law Firm launched in 1965. We help veterans to seek the disability benefits they earned through their service and sacrifice. We are committed to this work because many of our lawyers are military veterans ourselves. Our founding attorney, John S. Berry Sr., served in Vietnam. His son, John S. Berry Jr., served in Iraq and Bosnia. Many other members of our firm have worn the uniforms of our country.
We have argued cases on appeal that resulted in case law and changed VA rules and regulations. Because of our work, thousands of veterans across the country today receive the VA disability benefits they deserve. We want to help you, too, with your appeal before the CVAC.
What Does the CVAC Do for Disabled Veterans?
The Board of Veterans’ Appeals (BVA) is an administrative review board within the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). However, the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC) lies outside the VA’s jurisdiction. The court conducts judicial review of the BVA’s final decisions. The VA cannot appeal to this court – only veterans can.
The CAVC reviews cases that involve:
- Disability benefits
- Survivor benefits
- Education benefits
- Reimbursement for unauthorized medical payments.
A judge or panel of judges reviews a veteran’s claim for disability benefits. The court can request oral arguments. However, the court typically will hold those arguments only if a case would establish a new interpretation of existing law.
The court interprets the constitutional, statutory and regulatory provisions that the BVA applied to a claim. The judges also determine the meaning or applicability of the BVA’s decision and require the VA to adhere to the CAVC’s ultimate ruling.
The CAVC will award benefits, deny a claim or send the case back to the BVA with instructions for coming up with a new decision.
Because the CAVC reviews only what is in the case file that the BVA reviewed, a veteran’s prospects for success lie within the content and quality of evidence in his or her claim file. For this reason, you should get help from an experienced VA disability claims lawyer as early in the appeals process as possible.
Taking Your Disability Claim to the Appeals Court
To obtain review by the CAVC, a veteran must file written notice of appeal within 120 days after the BVA mailed its decision. The veteran must file the notice in the CVAC clerk’s office along with a legal brief that states the issues of the case, outlines the veteran’s argument and requests relief from the court.
Additionally, when a veteran files notice of appeal, the veteran must file a notice of appearance that identifies the veteran’s attorney. If the veteran chooses to go forward without an attorney, the veteran must agree to follow all of the court’s rules of practice and procedure, including timely filing and serving a brief.
A brief must reflect thorough legal research and sound legal reasoning. It must counter any arguments by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, which is the opposing party in an appeal before the CAVC. Additionally, if a brief violates any CAVC rules, it could cost a veteran dearly. For these reasons, a veteran should get help from a lawyer who has extensive experience with filing briefs in the CAVC.
If the CAVC rules against a veteran, the veteran may appeal further to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Only U.S. Supreme Court decisions or legislative changes supersede CAVC decisions. Because the Supreme Court can decline to review a veteran’s case – and often does – the Federal Circuit Court typically presents the last opportunity for a veteran to get his or her case heard by a court.
Our Lawyers Can Help You to Appeal Your VA Disability Claim
Berry Law Firm helps veterans like you to appeal disability claims decisions to the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. We handle many appeals that seek to increase a veteran’s disability rating or reverse the repeated denial of a valid benefits claim.
Berry Law Firm prepares cases for success before the CAVC. We will thoroughly review your claim file and work hard to present a solid argument on your behalf before the court. The VA has accredited our lawyers to represent veterans seeking VA benefits. We can help you to pursue the best possible outcome in your case.
Contact Us Before Your VA Disability Claim Appeals Goes Any Further
If you must appeal your claim for veterans’ disability benefits, you should seek experienced and knowledgeable legal assistance right away. A VA disability claim appeal quickly becomes a highly complex matter, requiring knowledge of VA law and court procedure. Forging ahead on your own could cost you money if the CAVC denies your claim again or upholds your low disability rating.
Berry Law Firm has decades of experience with helping veterans to fight for their VA disability benefits on appeal. Our lawyers understand the appeals process and what is necessary to present your case to the CAVC.
Let us review your VA disability claim file at no charge to you. If we pursue an appeal on your behalf, we will not charge you a fee unless our work results in additional compensation for you.
Get help from our VA disability claims attorneys today.