Recent Court Decisions Veterans Advocates Need to Know About (Nov. 2022-Apr. 2023)

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Presenter: Louis George

Length: 91 minutes

Recorded: April 2023

Approved for 1.5 hours of CLE credit by the Virginia State Bar



Webinar Description:

The U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issue dozens of precedential decisions each year that affect tens of thousands of veterans and their survivors who have claims before VA regional offices and the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (BVA). On a rare occasion, the U.S. Supreme Court weighs in on issues involving veterans benefits. In fact, the first decision of 2023 issued by the Supreme Court, which we address in this webinar, involved a VA benefits claim. Without an understanding of recent caselaw, you will be less effective in developing strategies and arguments to help veterans and their survivors win their claims. These court decisions could provide new avenues for you to help veterans or their survivors establish entitlement to VA benefits, but might also invalidate arguments you’ve made in claims that are awaiting a decision by the VA.

This webinar will highlight the most important changes in veterans law that have arisen from court decisions issued from November 2022 through April 2023, 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 secondary service connection can be granted on the basis that a disability would have been less severe, but for a service-connected condition preventing treatment of the disability
  • Whether 38 U.S.C. § 5110(b)(1)—which sets the effective date for disability compensation as the day following the date of the veteran’s discharge, if the application is received within one year of discharge—is subject to equitable tolling
  • Whether the VA is authorized to withhold disability compensation for court-ordered alimony payments, in cases involving military retirees who have waived a portion of military retirement pay to receive disability compensation
  • Whether individuals who accept an “other than honorable” discharge in lieu of trial by general court-martial are barred from receiving VA benefits based on the meaning of “undesirable discharge” in a VA regulation
  • Whether the VA can reimburse veterans for expenses for emergency medical treatment of non-service-connected disabilities provided outside the United States
  • Whether a rating decision that simply implements a BVA decision can be appealed back to the BVA
  • And court holdings on many other important issues!