Veterans who are unhappy with their VA rating decision have the ability to appeal. Typically, after an appeal, a Veteran’s claim is either granted or denied. However, when a Veteran appeals their claim to the BVA (Board of Veterans Appeals), there is the high possibility that it will be remanded back down to the regional office for another look.
We often hear from Veterans who are confused when their claim is remanded. In this article, we will look at what a remand is, why claims are remanded, and the VA’s duty to assist with remanded claims.
In most cases, claims at the BVA are either granted or denied. However, claims are remanded when it is determined that there is not enough information to either grant or deny a claim. This basically means the BVA does not have enough the evidence it needs to make a decision. There are several different reasons that a Veteran’s issue could be remanded.
While remands can be made for a variety of different reasons, there are a few explanations that are more common than others. One of the most common reasons for a remand is the regional office not processing claims correctly. Another reason is new evidence has been submitted showing a worsening of the condition on appeal which requires a new examination. A claim could also be remanded if the claim adjudicator didn’t interpret the law correctly or fully develop a veteran’s claim. It could be remanded if there has been a change in the law that requires the claim to be returned to a lower level.
When a claim is remanded, the VA’s duty to assist is triggered and often a new examination will be scheduled, records will be reexamined, or a new medical opinion will be requested. Remands are very common at the BVA, with over 40% of all decisions being remands.
A common reason for this is the regional office not processing claims correctly. As such, the BVA will provide detailed instructions for what the regional office is required to do before issuing a new decision.
When the VA has completed this process, they can either grant the claim in a Rating Decision or continue the claim in a Supplemental Statement of the Case. If that happens, the claim will be returned to the BVA for a new decision. If the regional office followed the BVA’s original instructions, the BVA will either grant or deny the claim. However, it is not uncommon for additional errors to require the BVA to remand the claim once again.
While it is always desirable to have a claim be granted, a remand is not a bad thing. It means that the regional office made some sort of error in the rendering of their decision, or new evidence has come to light that warrants a reexamination of the claim.
At Berry Law, we are dedicated to helping Veterans from all branches in their fight for disability benefits. If you need assistance appealing your rating decision, contact Berry Law for a free case evaluation.
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