November 2013 marks the 25th anniversary of the creation of the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. The veterans court was created by an act of Congress and began hearing appeals from the Board of Veterans’ Appeals in November 1988. Before that time, veterans had almost no judicial recourse if their claims were denied by the Board.
With the creation of the Court, veterans for the first time had the chance to have their VA compensation cases reviewed by a non-VA entity. The Court has reviewed somewhere in the neighborhood of 60,000 appeals from the Board since its creation.
The presence of the Court has likely gone a long way in improving the overall quality of decisions from the Board. As noted, the Court is not part of the VA, but provides oversight, and that alone helps add to the appearance of fairness in a process that, to many veterans, doesn’t always seem fair. The Court has also helped to promote veterans advocacy and occasionally holds oral argument at law schools across the country. It recently held an oral argument at Harvard.
The Court celebrated its anniversary with a ceremony in its courtroom on November 20.
The veterans disability advocate of Veterans Help Group keep veterans and their advocates up to date on Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims decisions that may affect their claims. If you need help with an appeal to the veterans court — don’t hesitate to contact us for a free case evaluation.