Disabled Veterans dissatisfied with decisions of the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (BVA) may appeal their case for VA disability benefits to a special federal appeals court.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC) is a national court of record that Congress established in 1988. The Court hears appeals by Veterans who believe that the Board of Veterans Appeals erred in its decision. The Court is located in Washington, D.C. and hears cases from anywhere in the United States. At this step in the process, the Veteran is suing the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to obtain benefits they are due.

The VA benefit attorneys at Berry Law fight for Veterans at the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. This court reviews how relevant statutes and regulations have been applied by the BVA to the VA benefits claim under review and considers arguments that the BVA may have erred in its application of the law.

An appeal before the CAVC offers the Veteran an important opportunity to argue the core issues of their disability claim. Decisions here can change how the VA handles future disability claims. Our attorneys at Berry Law know VA law and focus on helping Veterans with the VA disability appeals process. We have successfully handled cases before the CAVC.

Contact us today from anywhere in the United States at (888) 883-2483 for assistance with a disability appeal.

Veterans Serving Veterans

Berry Law was founded in 1965, and we have been serving Veterans for over 20 years. We are committed to this work in part because many of our lawyers are military Veterans. 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. In fact, we have attorneys from the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps.

Our firm focuses on appealing VA benefit claims that have been denied and helping Veterans seek increases in their VA disability ratings. We don’t just file papers. We litigate cases and have helped to establish case law that changed policy within the Department of Veterans Affairs.

We are Veterans assisting our fellow Veterans. We know the way forward.

Federal CAVC Hears Appeals of Denied VA Disability Claims

A Veteran who is dissatisfied with the Board of Veterans’ Appeals decision about a benefits claim has the right to ask the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC) to conduct a judicial review of their case.

The CAVC hears cases about:

  • Disability benefits
  • Survivor benefits
  • Education benefits
  • Reimbursement for unauthorized medical payments.

The CAVC only reviews the Veteran’s existing claim file in most cases. A judge or panel of judges will review the claim. The court has the authority to request oral arguments, but typically will only do so if the case before it seeks to establish a new interpretation of existing law.

The judges of the CAVC hand down opinions that:

  • Interpret constitutional, statutory and regulatory provisions of cases the BVA has decided
  • Determine the meaning or applicability of the BVA’s decision
  • Require the VA to adhere to the CAVC’s ruling

The CAVC may either affirm the BVA’s decision to deny the claim or send the case back to the BVA with instructions to correct an error of law in its original decision.

Because the CAVC in most cases only reviews the case file as it was presented to the BVA, a Veteran’s prospects for success depend upon the strength of the evidence in their file. It is important to have an experienced CAVC appeal lawyer examine your claim file and prepare an appeal on your behalf.

How to Appeal a VA Benefits Denial to the CAVC

A Veteran has 120 days after the BVA mails its decision to file a written notice of appeal with the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims’ Clerk’s Office. This must include a legal brief stating the issues of the case, outlining the Veteran’s argument for an award of benefits and requesting action in the Vet’s favor from the court.

The Veteran must also file a notice of appearance, which identifies the Veteran’s attorney for CAVC appeal. A Veteran who chooses to appeal to the CAVC pro se (on their own) must agree to follow all of the court’s rules of practice and procedure.

The CAVC is a formal court where substantive law and evidentiary rules are strictly applied. The legal brief filed to appeal the case must present an argument based on sound legal reasoning, court decisions and other applications of the law. It must counter any potential arguments by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, who is the opposing party in an appeal before the CAVC.

You can appeal to the CAVC pro se, but you will be at a disadvantage if you try to handle the appeal on your own. An experienced VA claims lawyer at Berry Law can develop a persuasive case about how VA law applies to your case and how and why you qualify for VA benefits.

Once the appeal has been scheduled, the Clerk will send a Notice of Docketing to all parties advising them of the date the Clerk received the Notice of Appeal (NOA). The Clerk will also note what is next required of both the Veteran and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

After the CAVC reviews the case and hands down an opinion, the Veteran may file a motion for reconsideration of an adverse decision within 21 days (or 51 days if the Veteran or their representative is outside the United States).

If the Veteran still disagrees with the CAVC’s decision after reconsideration, he or she may appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Decisions of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit are only superseded by decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court or by legislative changes in the law. Because Justices of the Supreme Court typically decline to review cases that do not address significant points of law, the Federal Circuit Court is often the last opportunity for a Veteran to have his or her case heard.

Berry Law Can Help You Appeal to the CAVC

Berry Law helps Veterans appeal disability claim decisions to the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. We handle many appeals that seek to increase a Veteran’s VA disability rating and monthly benefit, or to overturn the denial of a valid benefits claim.

Berry Law prepares cases for presentation to the CAVC. We work to identify a solid basis for appealing a BVA decision by thoroughly reviewing the claim file and discussing the Veterans’ condition and needs with him or her, family members, and caretakers.

Our legal team can contact doctors, psychologists and other medical experts who are familiar with VA claims to have them review medical records.

It is important to get knowledgeable assistance as soon as possible to appeal a VA disability claim decision. Remember, the appeals process goes from the VA Regional Office to the BVA and then the CAVC. The CAVC only reviews the claim file as appealed to the BVA in most cases. The Veteran cannot add evidence at this point, but your legal brief can explain the evidence in your file and what the CAVC judges should draw from it.

The attorneys at Berry Law know VA rules, regulations, Diagnostic Codes and court decisions guiding how disability benefits claims should be decided. We know what evidence the VA looks for as it evaluates a Veteran’s disability claim and how to prepare briefs that best portray the evidence in your file.

The VA has accredited Berry Law attorneys to represent Veterans appealing VA benefits decisions. We have successfully challenged and changed how existing VA law is applied to Veterans’ claims. We can help you obtain a positive outcome from your VA disability claim.

Contact Berry Law About Appealing a VA Claim to the CAVC

If you need to appeal your claim for Veterans’ disability benefits, it is important to reach out to an experienced and knowledgeable legal team right away. A VA disability claim appeal quickly becomes a formal legal matter requiring knowledge of VA law and court proceedings. Forging ahead on your own may ultimately cost you money if your claim is again denied or your disability rating remains too low.

Berry Law has decades of experience representing Veterans fighting for their VA disability benefits on appeal. Our lawyers understand what is necessary to ensure the legal brief accompanying your claim file makes a case that will be persuasive to CAVC judges.

Let us review your VA disability claim file at no charge to you. If we can 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.