Proposed Bill Would Benefit Disabled Veterans

A new bill introduced last week seeks to protect disabled veterans who were denied benefits because they could not meet the 120-day appeal deadline.

Ranking Democratic Member Bob Filner, D-California, introduced H.R. 810, the Fair Access to Veterans Benefits Act of 2011. The legislation would require the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims to hear appeals of the Board of Veterans’ Appeals’ decisions denying veterans disability compensation benefits. The Veterans’ Claims Appellate Court would only hear cases of denial for veterans who, due to circumstances beyond their control, were unable to meet the 120-day statutory deadline for filing an appeal.

On March 1, 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that veterans who miss the 120-day deadline are not automatically disqualified from filing an appeal through the CAVC.

Filner applauded the court’s decision saying, “congress created this Article I court so that VA would not be the final arbitrator of both veterans’ claims and appeals, so that veterans would get a fairer bite at the appeals apple.”

If you need assistance securing Veterans’ Affairs disability benefits, please contact an Indiana Disabled Veteran Lawyer of the Hankey Law Office, by calling (800) 520-3633.