Identifying Duty to Assist Errors: Reasons Why a VA Medical Examination May Be Inadequate (VSO)
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Presenter: Alexis Ivory
Length: 95 minutes
Recorded: April 2020
The VA frequently fails to satisfy its statutory duty to assist veterans in the development of their claims. In fact, the most common type of error that NVLSP attorneys identify when reviewing cases is the VA’s failure to provide the veteran with an adequate medical examination or opinion. Inadequate medical examinations and opinions may result in the VA wrongfully denying a veteran’s claim for service-connected disability benefits or assigning the wrong disability rating. Therefore, it is critical for advocates to be able to identify inadequate VA medical examination reports and opinions, so that they can appeal or seek review of any decision in which the VA relies on those reports or opinions to deny a claim.
Over the past three decades, the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit have found VA medical examination reports and medical nexus opinions inadequate for numerous reasons. In this webinar, we will discuss many of the mistakes VA examiners make that render their examination reports or medical opinions inadequate. By attending this webinar, you will be better able to identify inadequate medical examination reports and opinions and explain to the VA why a new exam or opinion is required by law.
This webinar will also cover:
• How to determine if the VA erred by failing to provide an examination or opinion in the first place
• A summary of the most common reasons VA examinations and opinions are found to be inadequate
• The types of claims for which VA most frequently provides inadequate examinations and opinions
• Boilerplate language, with helpful case law citations, that advocates can use to persuade the VA that an examination is inadequate
• How to effectively argue that the VA must provide a veteran with a new medical examination or opinion