Two women, Mrs. Burden and Mrs. Coleman, appealed the decision of the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, denying their claims of indemnity and dependency compensation. Though the fact patterns in each case were different, they had one similarity: at the time of the veterans’ deaths, they were not married.
Recently in Military Law Category
According to the Justice Department, the outcome of an Army and KBR lawsuit over the final stages of LOGCAP III , the largest government services contract in U.S. History, may affect many thousands of federal contracts while creating “enormous uncertainty” for vendors and the government, reports the Federal Times.
A reminder to practitioners and law students: pay attention to footnotes.
Can a veteran claim "additional disability" benefits for an injury that was not directly caused by government hospital care?
The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals ruled this week that he can.
A veteran proceeding pro se gets extra leeway in making his benefits case.
And if the Board of Veterans' Appeals and the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims don't give him that leeway? Well, they'll probably be reviewing the claim again on remand.
Ernest Pitts, Jr., a veteran, claimed that he was entitled to disability benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) based on post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD), a psychiatric disorder other than PTSD, a sinus disorder, and a skin disorder, all of which he contends are service-connected conditions.
The Board of Veterans' Appeals found that (1) Pitt's lower back condition resulted not from service but from a post-service work-related injury; (2) there was no evidence that his psychiatric disorder other than PTSD was linked to his service; and (3) his PTSD claim was not shown to be service-connected because there was no evidence of an in-service stressor.
The Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC) affirmed the Board's ruling.
The Veterans Administration limits a veteran’s challenges to the disposition of a disability claim “issue.” But how is “issue” defined?
The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals considered a single legal question in this case: What does the term “issue” mean for the purpose of VA regulations related to appealability? Is it a disability claim, or is it a theory supporting a disability claim?
As a matter of law, certain military workers are entitled to 15 days of military leave each year to attend training. These days cannot be charged against non-workdays. As a result, it’s common practice for these military workers to file claims seeking compensation for military leave charged on those non-working days. These claims are known as Butterbaugh claims, after the case Butterbaugh v. Dep’t of Justice.
It’s exactly this type of claim that Nyles Duncan attempted to assert before the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals. He argued that the Air Force — his civilian employer — had charged him military leave on non-work days in violation of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA).
When dealing with the appeals process, you never know when new case law may throw a wrench, or a life preserver, into your case.
In Taylor Russell's class action complaint against the United States for interest charges on military credit accounts, a new decision turned into a life preserver.
Russell had opened a credit account with the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (the "Exchange") for the purchase of personal goods, but became delinquent on the balance in 2000. Accruing interest over the next nine years, Russell finally realized the government was charging him a higher interest rate than agreed upon in 2009 and sued.
Hargrove v. Shinseki, 10-7043, concerned a challenge to the Veterans Court's denial of a petition for writ of mandamus, challenging the Regional Office's proposed reduction in petitioner's disability rating. In affirming the decision, the court held that, because the petitioner had not exhausted his administrative remedies before filing his petition, the Veterans Court did not abuse its discretion in denying mandamus.
Lack of jurisdiction in orthotist's appeal of termination of his employment with the DVA
Carrow v. Merit Sys. Prot. Bd., 10-3061, concerned a challenge to the the Merit Systems Protection Board's dismissal of the appeal, on remand, for lack of jurisdiction, in petitioner's challenge to the termination of his employment as an orthotist-prosthetist with the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA). In affirming, the court held that, by statute, petitioner's position with the DVA did not carry Board appeal rights, as he does not qualify as an "employee" under 5 U.S.C. section 7511(a)(1)(C)(ii). Further, any failure on the part of the DVA to provide full information to petitioner regarding the terms of his employment with the DVA did not give the Board jurisdiction over his appeal seeking reinstatement to his position at the DVA.