Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims

If the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (BVA or the “Board”) has sent you a final disability benefits claim decision that you disagree with, you still have a way to appeal. You can take your appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (the “Court”). The Court reviews Board decisions appealed by those who believe the Board made a mistake in its decision. You’ll need to wait until you have a final decision from the Board—not the regional office—before you can appeal to this Court. Appeal a Board of Veterans’ Appeals Decision.

If you aren’t sure about your claim status, call the BVA status line at 800-923-8387.

The Court is made up of:

  • 7 permanent (long-term), active judges, and
  • 2 more judges as part of a temporary expansion clause

The Court has the sole power to accept or overturn Board decisions and is part of the United States Judiciary, not the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The Court reviews Board decisions based on:

  • The record before the agency (what was in your file at the time the Board reviewed it), and
  • Arguments of the parties (presented in a written brief, with oral arguments usually held only in cases bringing up new legal issues)

The Court’s main office is in Washington, DC, but the Court can hold sessions anywhere in the United States. The Court does hold sessions in other parts of the country a small number of times each year.