Veteranclaims’s Blog

November 8, 2012

Veterans Deprived of CFR 3.103(a) Protection before Board, FedCir Oral Arguments in No.2011-7191, National Org of Vet Adv. v. Shinseki

Filed under: Uncategorized — veteranclaims @ 6:12 pm

I strongly urge every veteran and all veteran advocates to listen to this oral argument, because veteran claims before the Board have been wrongly denied and the VA is not going to tell those veterans about these illegal actions, unless the FedCir Orders them to do so. Hopefully, the FedCir will issue such an Order/Decision, but I urge all veterans that may be affected to seek help because this is a complex issue.

FedCir Oral Argument page:
http://www.cafc.uscourts.gov/oral-argument-recordings/search/audio.html

Excerpts from NOVA brief:

“On August 23, 2011, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) abruptly announced—and immediately put into effect—a new regulation that stripped veterans of their § 3.103 rights in hearings before the Board.”

“38 C.F.R.§ 3.103. This provision creates certain “Procedural due process and appellate rights” that apply to all VA adjudications. 38 C.F.R. § 3.103(a). They include the right of veterans to have the officials conducting their hearings “explain fully the issues and suggest the submission of evidence which the claimant may have overlooked and which would be of advantage to the claimant’s position.”
Id .§ 3.103(c)(2). The provision also establishes the VA’s basic “obligation” in all

4proceedings “to assist a claimant in developing the facts pertinent to [his or her]claim” and “to render a decision which grants every benefit that can be supported in law.” Id. § 3.103(a). Section 3.103 protects disabled veterans and their entitlement to benefits. It reflects the “general character” of the veterans’ benefits system, which is “strongly and uniquely pro-claimant.” Hodge v. West, 155 F.3d 1356, 1362 (Fed. Cir. 1998).
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NOVA brief here:

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