U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims

law court

Have you been denied VA education, pensions, or health care benefits? Fortunately, you do have recourse through the VA Appeals process. Find out how a VA claim can be appealed and how the process works.

If you feel a decision from the Board of Veterans' Appeals is wrong you can appeal it to the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. This court is independent of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Only claimants may seek a review by the court; VA may not appeal board decisions. To appeal to the court, the claimant must have filed an appeal with the VA. The notice of appeal must be received by the court with a postmark that is within 120 days after the Board of Veterans' Appeals mails its final decision.

The United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims is a national court of record, established under Article I of the Constitution of the United States. The Court has exclusive jurisdiction to provide judicial review of final decisions by the Board of Veterans' Appeals, an entity within the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The Court provides veterans an impartial judicial forum for review of administrative decisions by the Board of Veterans' Appeals that are adverse to the veteran-appellant's claim of entitlement to benefits for service-connected disabilities, survivor benefits and other benefits such as education payments and waiver of indebtedness. In furtherance of its mission, the Court also seeks to help ensure that all veterans have equal access to the Court and to promote public trust and confidence in the Court.

The court does not hold trials or receive new evidence. The court reviews the record that was considered by the Board of Veterans' Appeals. Oral argument is held only at the direction of the court. Either party may appeal a decision of the court to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and to the Supreme Court of the United States. Appellants may represent themselves before the court or have lawyers or approved agents as representatives.

The Court has exclusive jurisdiction over decisions of the Board of Veterans' Appeals (Board or BVA). The Court reviews Board decisions appealed by claimants who believe the Board erred in its decision. The Court's review of Board decisions is based on the record before the agency and arguments of the parties, which are presented in a written brief, with oral argument generally held only in cases presenting new legal issues. 

The Court's principal office is in Washington, D.C., but the Court is authorized to sit anywhere in the United States and does so a limited number of times each year. 

Remember: You must have a final decision from the Board of Veterans' Appeals - not the Regional Office - before you can appeal to this Court.

For more information about the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans' Claims please visit their website.

Related Topics

VA Claims and Appeals
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