VA Benefits for Disabilities Caused by VA Health Care (Section 1151 Claims): The Basics and Important New Developments (Attorney)

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Presenter: Mike Spinnicchia

Length: 93 minutes

Recorded: November 2018

Approved for 1.5 CLE credits by the Virginia State Bar


Webinar Description:

Section 1151 claims provide veterans and their survivors with a unique method for obtaining VA disability and death benefits. 38 U.S.C. § 1151, among other things, allows claimants to receive VA benefits for disabilities and deaths that are the result of VA health care that was negligent or careless, as if those disabilities and deaths were caused by military service. Section 1151 also permits claimants to receive VA benefits for disabilities and deaths caused by events not reasonably foreseeable in the VA’s furnishing of health care. Most veterans advocates do not handle many Section 1151 claims; thus, when such a claim comes across an advocate’s desk, it can understandably be met with a certain degree of uncertainty and trepidation. This webinar is designed to help advocates become more comfortable with Section 1151 claims by providing a basic overview of the rules related to these claims, important recent developments in case law, and advocacy advice for winning Section 1151 claims.

This recorded webinar will include:

• The legal requirements for establishing VA disability and death benefits under Section 1151
• How Section 1151 claims differ from claims for service-connected disability and death benefits
• An often overlooked way to establish disability benefits under Section 1151 that does not require fault on the part of the VA
• Recent developments in the law pertaining to Section 1151 claims, including whether a claimant can establish entitlement based on VA’s referral for medical treatment that is ultimately provided at a non-VA facility
• The types of evidence advocates should attempt to obtain to ensure success on these claims
• Real life examples to illustrate the principles discussed in the webinar
• Other options available when a veteran’s disability or death is due to VA negligence or carelessness, including filing a lawsuit under the Federal Tort Claims Act

This class will help advocates inexperienced with Section 1151 claims become comfortable with such claims, while giving more experienced advocates tips on the most recent developments in this area of veterans law and the types of Section 1151 claims that often get overlooked.