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Remands, Remands and more Remands

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Once again, more proof that the VA cannot just go and try to reduce a veteran's rating while in appeal status.  You can look them up for yourselves. Medrano v. Nicholson, 21 Vet. App. 165, 170 (2007).

In a May 2019 decision, the Board, in relevant part, granted a separate rating of 10 percent, but no higher, for the Veteran's right knee instability.  The Veteran appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (Court).  In a February 2020 Joint Motion for Partial Remand (JMPR), the parties agreed to vacate and remand the May 2019 Board decision as to the grant of 10 percent rating, but no higher, for the Veteran's right knee instability.  Specifically, the JMPR only remanded the issue of an initial disability rating in excess of 10 percent for right knee instability.  All other issues adjudicated in the May 2019 Board decision were not to be disturbed.  See Medrano v. Nicholson, 21 Vet. App. 165, 170 (2007).  As such, the Board will only address this issue in the instant decision.

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(Too many) Remands are a big source of frustration for Veterans.  Remands are the "Welcome to the hamster wheel" sign.  

This said, having some experience with remands, you need to "know the code".  

The remand (at the CAVC level)  its often something like "failure to adequately explain a reasons and bases for decision".  

So, the board simply denies again, this time explaining why they denied you.  "But wait!"   You have a smart attorney and he explains your nexus is "not up to par".  So, he tells you to get an IMO for an "improved nexus".  Bingo.  YOu get an award.  

So, here is the "remand code":

    Instead of the VA telling you, "your nexus is insufficient", they deny you for another reason, or none at all, because they dont want Veterans to have knowledge.  They want you dumb and broke.  

     So, "crack the remand code", by going back, check your caluza elements.  I think there are "remand codes" for other types of denials, too, such as SMC or earlier effective date.  

     In the case of eed, here is, I think here is how to crack the remand code.  

    Example of cracking remand code for effective dates:

A.  You think the effective date should be July 2, 2009, because that is when you applied.  So far, so good.  Except you just "forgot half" of the effective date general rule, which is THE LATER of:

1.  date of claim

2.  The date the doc said you were disabled.   

so, when WERE you disabled, according to the doctor?  You read the exam, and he gives you a favorable exam, "but does not give an onset (effective date)".  So, what effective date does the VA use?  The exam date...in the absence of a doctor saying otherwise, the VA presumes its the current date.  

     So, the code is to check the exam, and see what date the doc said your disability began.  If he did not specify, you need an imo/ime to show you were disabled with those symptoms 5 years earlier..not the date of the exam.  This is often "The effective date remand code".  

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A joint motion for remand, JMR, is about the best that you can hope for at the CAVC. The remand is not so much the dreaded outcome, but the time that it takes to get a new decision is the morale killer. At least all claims coming back from the CAVC are given an expedited or advanced on the docket .status

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