With the commencement of service of Judge William S. Greenberg, the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, which reviews decisions from the Board of Veterans Appeals, is operating with nine judges. This is the maximum number of judges that the Congress has authorized the Court to have. Three new judges have commenced service within the past year; before 2012, the Court had only six active judges.
For several years, the Court has operated with a significant backlog, due in large part to the fact that there were only six active judges. To help alleviate the ever-growing backlog, the Court recalled several retired judges to work on less-complex cases. The influx of three new judges is almost certain to ensure that veterans will see their cases decided more rapidly. It will also be interesting to see whether the Court is more willing to go to “panel” to decide cases, meaning that three judges work on an individual case, rather than only one, which is far more commonplace. The advantage to “panels” is that the decision rendered becomes binding law on all future cases – in other words, “panels” establish new law. Cases decided by a single judge do not create new law.
Advocates for the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims
The veterans disability advocates of Veterans Help Group are VA Accredited advocates who have been honored for our service to veterans. We help veterans and their families appeal VA disability benefits decisions every day. Do not be afraid to seek what is rightfully yours. Contact our advocates for veterans to discuss how we can be of service to you.