The long process when a veteran files a claim

As an accredited Veterans attorney and as an attorney admitted to practice in the United States Court of Veterans Appeals in Washington , D.C., I keep track of cases affecting veterans.

Here is a case decided on 1-12-12, from the United States Court of Appeals , Federal Circuit which shows the long process when a veteran files a claim .

In this case, the veteran filed a claim in 2003 for injuries  he alleges happened during his military service back in 1973.  After  going through the long process of initially being denied and filing appeals within the Veterans Administration, (and, being denied at each appeal) , he brought his case before the U.S. Court of Veterans Appeals in 2011. This is the court that hears claims against the Veteran Administration if  the VA denies an application through their own administrative process. The veteran once again lost and appealed that court's decision to the United States Court of Appeals which decides if the Veterans Court made any mistakes.

Please look at the first page of the attached decision right below the " Decided: January 12,2012 " to see the legal team assembled to advocate for the Federal Government. The United States had six lawyers advocating against the veteran who was representing himself ( called pro se in the legal world). This is typical in cases of this type. The appeals within the Veterans Administration are designed to be non-adversarial ,but once you take action against the VA in court , the gloves are off and the dispute becomes adversarial .

An argument in an appellate court is in the "deep end of the pool" from a legal standpoint. An appellate court is not the place to reargue the facts in the veterans case. Look at the second page of the court decision just below "Discussion". The court is saying they don't have the jurisdiction to consider the facts of this case. They can only consider the regulation itself.

The above article is for informational purposes only. It is not legal advice. Please consult an attorney for your particular issue.