If your claim for veterans disability benefits has been denied at the final level of appeal (Board of Veterans Appeals, the BVA), you have the right to have that decision reviewed and get the benefits you deserve. The review occurs at the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC). At this level, the BVA decision on your case will be defended by attorneys representing the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Your representative at the CAVC must be an attorney or a bar-admitted non-attorney accompanied by an attorney. You need a representative who is not only an expert at VA law, but also an advocate for veterans, like those available at Alpha.
The Veterans’ Court
The U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC) is a national court located in Washington, D.C. It is a veterans’ court created in 1988 to ensure that veterans have legal recourse if denied VA benefits. The CAVC is separate from the Department of Veterans Affairs and has exclusive jurisdiction to provide reviews of final decisions by the Board of Veterans Appeals. Unlike the VA and Board of Veterans Appeals, where there is a non-adversarial process, at the Court it becomes adversarial and there can be no new evidence submitted.
Alpha has CAVC Experts
Alpha has veterans advocates experienced in arguing cases before the CAVC. Their focus is on formulating the best possible argument for why you deserve benefits. Even if your case was not previously represented by an Alpha advocate at the Board of Veterans Appeals level, the legal experts at Alpha will take your case and help you get through this highest review of your appeal.
The Alpha Judicial Appeals staff is lead by John March, who also serves as the Assistant Director of Alpha. John has eleven years of experience representing disabled veterans and their families. He has a complete understanding of the complex regulations, statutes and case law regarding veterans benefits. He is a member of the Bar of the CAVC, as a non-attorney practitioner, the National Organization of Veterans Advocates (NOVA), and the CAVC Bar Association. He is also a participant of The Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program.
If you decide to practice your legal right to a judicial review, the Alpha Judicial Appeals staff will review your case to determine if it is appropriate, and will file a Notice of Appeal. This must be done within 120 days after the final decision from the Board of Veterans Appeals was received. Once the Notice of Appeal is filed, the team will keep you up to date on the status of your appeal throughout the process.
At no cost to you, our Judicial Appeals staff will review your file, and establish a record to argue your case before the CAVC. On multiple occasions, our staff has achieved positive outcomes before the case ever reaches the courtroom. If the Court requires Oral Argument be presented, someone from the Alpha Judicial Appeals staff will go to Washington, DC to represent you.
The CAVC Decides the Appeal
The goal of your Alpha advocate is to convince the CAVC to either reverse the BVA decision and grant you benefits, or to send your claim back to the BVA for reconsideration. Once the CAVC reviews all evidence, CAVC will decide the appeal.
Again, there is no fee for Alpha’s legal representation services. If your case is reversed or remanded back to the BVA, the federal government pays for legal fees and expenses under the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA).
The number of cases decided by the CAVC has been steadily climbing. In 2009, the CAVC decided 4,379 cases. In 2010, the CAVC decided over 5,000 cases. Clearly more veterans are challenging VA decisions on their claims. If you are denied benefits, you have the right to fight back.
If you have received a final decision from the Board of Veterans Appeals and would like to appeal the decision to the CAVC, call Alpha at (877) 611-7724. Or complete the contact form and a representative from Alpha will get back to you.
Note: All representation coordinated by Alpha is provided by our employees, the Advocates, who are accredited by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). No private organization that trains and employs accredited agents has been legally recognized by the VA for the purposes of preparation, presentation, and prosecution of claims. This work must be done by the Advocates themselves and not organizations.