Recent Court Decisions Veterans Advocates Need to Know About (Attorney)

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Presenter: Kim Parke

Length: 89 minutes

Recorded: August 2020

Approved for 1.5 CLE credits by the Virginia State Bar


Webinar Description:

This year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit have issued precedential decisions that impact thousands of claims before VA regional offices and the Board of Veterans’ Appeals. Without an understanding of these recent changes to veterans law, you will be less effective in developing strategies and arguments to help veterans with their claims. These decisions might invalidate an argument you had successfully made in the past or provide a new avenue for you to help a veteran establish entitlement to VA benefits.

By staying up-to-date with recent court decisions that are binding on the VA, you will be better able to answer questions from your veterans and advise them about important issues from whether they can get benefits for disabilities made worse by obesity, to whether they can get additional dependent benefits when they are the legal guardian of a minor.

This webinar will highlight the most important changes in Veterans law that have arisen from court decisions since the beginning of 2020, with a focus on how advocates can use these developments to the advantage of the veterans they represent.

By the end of this webinar, you should understand:
• Whether the Board of Veterans’ Appeals can change a prior favorable credibility determination and, if so, what process it must undertake to do so
• The circumstances under which veterans can qualify for VA benefits for disabilities associated with obesity
• Whether the Board of Veterans’ Appeals can find that a disability presents an exceptional or unusual disability picture for purposes of referral for consideration of an extraschedular rating, but in a post-referral decision come to the opposite conclusion
• What relationships qualify a minor as a dependent for VA benefits purposes, including when a court appoints a veteran as the legal guardian of a minor
• When service connection is awarded retroactively for a cancer, whether the rule mandating a VA medical examination six months after therapy ceases to determine the appropriate disability rating requires the VA to continue a 100 percent rating until an examination is provided
• Which law regarding VA education benefits takes precedence—the law capping benefits under multiple programs to 48 months of eligibility or the law requiring benefits to be extended to the end of a semester
• How the VA must determine the fees owed to an attorney or agent who helps a veteran obtain an increased disability rating when the veteran does not receive retroactive payment due to receipt of military retired pay that offsets the amount owed to the veteran by the VA
• And more!