Veterans Law Library
A Comprehensive Collection of
Materials Relating to the Veterans
Benefits Adjudication Process
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“The willingness
with which our
young people are
likely to serve in
any war, no matter
how justified, shall
be directly
proportional as to
how they perceive
veterans of earlier
wars were treated
and appreciated by
this country.”

George Washington
Latest Developments and Additions
July 2014
Jul. 23, 2014:  The Federal Circuit issued an opinion in Rusick v. Gibson
regarding whether a determination of clear and unmistakable error for DIC
purposes under 38 U.S.C. § 5121(a) creates entitlement to accrued benefits.  
[
download .pdf]

Jul. 22, 2014:  The CAVC issued an opinion in
Cacciola v. Gibson regarding the
effect of abandoning a claim on appeal to the CAVC.  [
download .pdf]

Jul. 21, 2014:  The Federal Circuit issued an opinion in
Robertson v. Gibson
regarding the effect of discharges upgraded pursuant to Gerald Ford's
Presidential Clemency Board.  [
download .pdf]

Jul. 18, 2014:  The CAVC issued an en banc opinion in
Pacheco v. Gibson
regarding the assignment of effective dates under 38 C.F.R. § 3.157(b).  
[
download .pdf]

Jul. 14, 2014:  The House Veterans Affairs Committee held a hearing ---
Evaluation of the Process to Achieve VBA Goals [House page for the hearing]

Jul. 14, 2014:  VA's Office of Inspector General released a new report ---
Veterans Benefits Administration:  Review of the Special Initiative To Process
Rating Claims Pending Over 2 Years
, Report Number 13-03699-209 (July 14,
2014) [
download .pdf]

Jul. 11, 2014:  The Federal Circuit heard oral argument in
Holland v. Gibson
regarding the evidence required to prove a stressor in a PTSD claim based upon
MST [
listen here] and Beraud v. Gibson  regarding when the submission of new
evidence prevents a rating decision from becoming final [
listen here].

Jul. 10, 2014:  The Federal Circuit heard oral argument in
Williams v. Gibson
regarding the criteria for an informal claim.  [
listen here].

Jul. 9, 2014:  The Federal Circuit heard oral argument in
Joyner v. Gibson
regarding whether pain alone can be considered a disability in a Gulf War illness
claim [
listen here] and Murphy v. Gibson regarding what constitutes adequate
notice that a claim has been denied [
listen here].

Jul. 8, 2014:  The CAVC issued an opinion in
Mulder v. Gibson regarding the
proper effective date for reduction of benefits based upon incarceration for a
felony.  [
download .pdf]

Jul. 8, 2014:  The Federal Circuit heard oral argument in
Carroll v. Gibson
regarding the time period for certain remarried surviving spouses to apply for
benefits.  [
listen here]

Jul. 2, 2014:  New article added to the
Article Index page --- Victoria Hadfield
Moshiashwili,
Ending the Second 'Splendid Isolation'?:  Veterans Law at the
Federal Circuit in 2013
, 63 Am. U. L. Rev. 1437 (2014) [download .pdf]

Jul. 1, 2014:  The CAVC issued an opinion in
Hudgens v. Shinseki regarding the
proper disability rating for a partial knee replacement.  [
download .pdf]


















































August 2014
Aug. 29, 2014:  The CAVC issued a precedential order in Checo v. McDonald
regarding equitable tolling.  [
download .pdf]

Aug. 26, 2014:  The CAVC issued an opinion in
Tagupa v. McDonald regarding
the duty to assist claimants in verifying service.  [
download .pdf]

Aug. 13, 2014:  The CAVC heard en banc oral argument in
Evans v. McDonald
regarding an allegation of clear and unmistakable error based upon the failure to
refer a claim for extraschedular TDIU consideration.  [
listen here]

Aug. 6, 2014:  The Federal Circuit issued an opinion in
Johnson v. McDonald
regarding extraschedular ratings.  [
download .pdf]

Aug. 5, 2014:  The Federal Circuit issued an opinion in
Martin v. McDonald
regarding whether failure to complete alcohol-abuse treatment is willful
misconduct.  [
download .pdf]

Aug. 5, 2014:  The CAVC issued an opinion in
Boyd v. McDonald regarding
inextricably intertwined claims.  [
download .pdf]

Aug. 4, 2014:  VA published an interim final rule --- Schedule for Rating
Disabilities—Mental Disorders and Definition of Psychosis for Certain VA
Purposes, 79 Fed. Reg. 45093 (Aug. 4, 2014).  [
download .pdf]





















September 2014
Sept. 24, 2014:  VA published a new final rule --- Standard Claims and Appeals
Forms, 79 Fed. Reg. 57,660 [
download .pdf]

Sept. 24, 2014:  VA published a new interim final rule --- Payment or
Reimbursement for Certain Medical Expenses for Camp Lejeune Family
Members, 79 Fed. Reg. 57,415 [
download .pdf]

Sept. 24, 2014:  VA published a new final rule --- Hospital Care and Medical
Services for Camp Lejeune Veterans, 79 Fed. Reg. 57,410 [
download .pdf]

Sept. 24, 2014:  The Federal Circuit issued an opinion in
Carroll v. McDonald
regarding DIC benefits for surviving spouses who remarry.  [
download .pdf]

Sept. 23, 2014:  Audio is now available for the CAVC argument in
Nohr.

Sept. 18, 2014:  The CAVC heard oral argument in
Nohr v. McDonald regarding
whether claimants have a due process right to have interrogatories answered by
VA medical examiners.  [
listen here]

Sept. 15, 2014:  The Sept. 8 argument in
Martin that was omitted has been
added below in its proper place.

Sept. 12, 2014:  The Federal Circuit issued opinions in
Joyner v. McDonald
regarding compensation for Gulf War illnesses under 38 U.S.C. § 1117
[
download .pdf] and in Beraud v. McDonald regarding the effect of new and
material evidence on the finality of a decision under 38 C.F.R. § 3.156(b)
[
download .pdf].

Sept. 12, 2014:  New article added to the
Article Index page --- Matthew Ivey,
The Broken Promises of an All-Volunteer Military, 86 Temp. L. Rev. 525 (2014)
[
download .pdf]

Sept. 11, 2014:  New article added to the
Article Index page --- Alma Nunley,
Note, S
ervice Dogs for (Some) Veterans:  Inequality in the Treatment of
Disabilities by the Department of Veterans Affairs
, 17 Quinnipiac Health L.J.
261 (2014)

Sept. 8, 2014:  The Federal Circuit heard oral argument in
Martin v. McDonald
regarding reducing a rating after a disease has been cured.  [
download .pdf]

Sept. 8, 2014:  The Federal Circuit issued an opinion in
Young v. McDonald
regarding the proper effective date in a PTSD claim.  [
download .pdf]

Sept. 5, 2014:  VA published a new final rule --- Substitution in Case of Death of
Claimant, 79 Fed. Reg. 52,977 [
download .pdf]

Sept. 3, 2014:  The CAVC issued an opinion in
Todd v. McDonald regarding
entitlement to a total disability evaluation based on individual unemployability.  
[
download .pdf]















































October 2014
Oct. 30, 2014:  The CAVC issued an opinion in Nohr v. McDonald regarding
VA's duty to respond to interrogatories directed at a physician providing a
medical opinion as to a claim.  [
download .pdf]

Oct. 29, 2014:  The CAVC issued a precedential order in
Sugiutan v. McDonald
regarding substitution in claims under the Filipino Veterans Equity Compensation
Fund.  [
download .pdf]  

Oct. 22, 2014:  The CAVC heard oral argument in
Swain v. McDonald regarding
whether the effective date for an increased rating for hearing loss may be
assigned earlier than the date of the examination that verified that veteran's
hearing qualified for a higher rating.  [
listen here]

Oct. 15, 2014:  The CAVC heard oral argument in
Gazaille v. McDonald
regarding whether a surviving spouse must have been married to a veteran for a
full year to collect DIC benefits if VA was responsible for the veteran's death.  
[
listen here]

Oct. 8, 2014:  The Federal Circuit heard oral argument in
Richardson v.
McDonald
regarding substitution at the Board of Veterans' Appeals.  [listen here]

Oct. 8, 2014:  The Federal Circuit heard oral argument in
Fern v. McDonald
regarding when claims remain pending under 38 C.F.R. § 3.156(b) [
listen here],
Russell v. McDonald
regarding VA's duty to notify a veteran of the applicable
criteria used to rate a disability [
listen here], and Branson v. McDonald regarding
when a claim for benefits has been raised [
listen here].

Oct. 7, 2014:  The CAVC issued an opinion in
Roberts v. McDonald regarding
offset of annuity benefits under the Survival Benefits Plan, 10 U.S.C. §§
1447-1455, against DIC benefits.  [
download .pdf]

Oct. 7, 2014:  The Federal Circuit heard oral argument in
Brown v. McDonald
regarding prevailing party status in writ-petition cases at the CAVC [listen here],
and in
Ordillas v. McDonald regarding the disability rating criteria for migraine
headaches [
listen here].

Oct. 6, 2014:  The Federal Circuit heard oral argument in
O'Bryan v. McDonald
regarding whether a genetic condition is always a defect or may be a disease in
some circumstances.  [
listen here]





































November 2014
Nov. 20, 2014:  The Federal Circuit issued an opinion in O'Bryan v. McDonald
regarding when a congenital or developmental condition is a non-compensable
defect. [
download .pdf]

Nov. 19, 2014:  New report added to the GAO reports page --- GAO-15-50,
Veteran's Disability Benefits: Improvements Could Further Enhance Quality
Assurance Efforts (Nov. 19, 2014) [
download .pdf]

Nov. 14, 2014:  The CAVC issued an en banc opinion in
Leavey v. McDonald
regarding a Board member's duty to explain the issues at a hearing.  [
download .
pdf
]

Nov. 11, 2014:  New article added to the
Article Index page --- James D.
Ridgway,
Toward a Less Adversarial Relationship Between Chevron and
Gardner, 9 U. Mass. L. Rev. 388 (2014) [download .pdf]

Nov. 6, 2014:  The Federal Circuit heard oral argument in
Garsow v. McDonald
regarding prevailing party status for purposes of an EAJA award [listen here] and
Sanchez-Navarro v. McDonald regarding when VA is required to seek a medical
opinion in a claim for PTSD [
listen here].

Nov. 5, 2014:  The Federal Circuit heard oral argument in
Phillips v. McDonald
regarding the requirements for alleging a potential claim of bias by a Veterans
Law Judge [
listen here], Toomer v. McDonald regarding equitable tolling when a
Board decision is remailed to a veteran [
listen here], and Hinkle v. McDonald
regarding the government's burden to overcome the presumption of soundness
[
listen here].

Nov. 4, 2014:  The Federal Circuit heard oral argument in
Grimsley v. McDonald
regarding the requirements for rating a mental disability [listen here] and DeBord
v. McDonald
regarding whether the BVA must provide notice before making a
credibility determination in the first instance [
listen here].