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How Common Is It To Lose An Appeal At The Court Of Veterans Appeals?



It occurred to me that I don't think we've ever had an appeal reach the Court that wasn't remanded back to the Board of Veterans Appeals, and believe me, we've been to the Court many times over the last 20 or so years.

So, I was just wondering how many of you have ever had an appeal denied by the Court. Also, have any of you had an appeal actually granted by the Court, which I understand is a very rare occurence.

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I would suggest reading the CAVC decisions, and you can do key word search. This has helped me in my appeal, as see what grounds the VA will use on appeals AND what the CAVC is looking for. I would think the approval ratio is about 60%, maybe higher. This includes the many remands, which merely means the VA has their hand lightly slapped by Court and asked to review the evidence again, sometimes the remand is worded to direct the VA to do what should have done in first place.


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Unfortunately is it is VERY common to lose at the CAVC.

Their web site shows what I mean.


A remand from the CAVC is far better than a denial but that does not mean the remand will change the outcome of the claim and it will add much more time to another denied decision.

The CAVC looks for legal errors in BVA decisions that are detrimental to the claimant.

BVA doesn't make that many errors , in my opinion, but maybe they make more than we think and if the claimant does not file with the CAVC , we dont really know how many BVA denials ccould have been overturned.

The problem with CAVC opinions is that the evidence must be established with the VA first.They dont accept new evidence.

A CAVC remand can often open a door for more evidence, but lets face it, by time of a CAVC case being heard, the claimant has had plenty of time to offer more evidence either to the VARO or to the BVA.

No miracles happen at the CAVC.

A claimant can go ahead and file with a Federal Circuit Court for Appeals if the CAVC denies their claim.

Some have succeeded that way but that too is difficult to do, costly, and time consuming.


"I was just wondering how many of you have ever had an appeal denied by the Court"

My former vet rep ( a real dope) asked me to help a vet who he didnt think would succeed but (I realised after I said yes) he wanted to get rid of the vet, who was very demanding.

The vet had been to the CAVC twice and denied.

I read his initial BVA decision, It contained one word which I felt was a clue....an odd medical term

Long story....none of his CAVC lawyers had ever even looked up that critical medical term.

I did, and then with his SMRs,(which I dont think the CAVC lawyers ever read at all) I helped him get an IMO from his private doctor (that was free) and he won a lot of retro.

I helped a lawyer who joined here many years ago as well to get a CAVC remand for his client.

But in that case ( we both found 2 legal errors BVA made and got the remand ) I was highly doubtful of any success at all for that claim. I didnt hear back from the lawyer so I guess the veteran lost the case again.

I also have a theory about the CAVC.

If a claimant does not want to get a lawyer for their case, they are going into battle with their ---- in their hand instead of a weapon.

I forget what the lawyers can charge, but whatever it is is better than getting 100% of nothing.

Edited by Berta (see edit history)
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