In February 2012, the Attig Law Firm, working together with the VA Office of General Counsel, succeeded in getting the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC) to vacate an erroneous BVA decision and remand the case to the BVA for correction of the BVA's errors.
The case involved a Vietnam Veteran whose condition was caused by Agent Orange. Several years earlier, prior to this firm's representation of the Veteran, the Veteran's claim for service connection of his Agent Orange related condition was denied.
The Veteran secured new evidence in 2003, and sought to reopen his claim for the Agent Orange related condition, claiming (correctly) that the evidence was new and material. The evidence included the opinion of a VA Doctor that the Veteran's condition was caused by Agent Orange.
The VA Regional Office and the BVA refused to reopen the claim, contending that while the evidence was new, it was not material.
The VARO and the BVA were wrong.
Material evidence is evidence that, by itself or when considered with previous evidence of record, relates to an unestablished fact necessary to the claim. For example, if your claim was denied because it was missing evidence of an injury in military service, and your new evidence relates to that missing element, the evidence is "material".
The CAVC will review the BVA's determination of whether the appellant has submitted new and material evidence to reopen a prior claim under the “clearly erroneous” standard of review. 38 U.S.C. § 7261(a)(4); Suaviso v. Nicholson, 19 Vet.App. 532, 533 (2006). “A factual finding ‘is “clearly erroneous” when although there is evidence to support it, the reviewing court on the entire evidence is left with the definite and firm conviction that a mistake has been committed.’ ” Hersey v. Derwinski, 2 Vet.App. 91, 94 (1992) (quoting United States v. U.S. Gypsum Co., 333 U.S. 364, 395 (1948)).
In this case, the VA Office of General Counsel agreed with Veteran's attorney Chris Attig that the Veteran's evidence was material, and that the BVA committed other errors in denying to reopen the Veteran's claim. They entered a joint motion to vacate the BVA decision as to this part of the claim and remand it to the BVA to correct the errors in its decision.
Congrats to our Veteran on winning another battle in the war against the VA! He has worked with our Firm since 2008 while we knock down - one brick at a time - the wall that the VA has built between this Veteran and the benefits to which he is entitled.
Along the way, we have secured the following relief for the Veteran:
1) Service-connection for PTSD with 50% rating and 7 years past-due benefits (2009-2010).
2) BVA Remand of wrongly denied claims by the VA Regional Office (2010-2011).
3) CAVC Remand of wrongly denied claims by the BVA (2011-2012).
The Attig Law Firm represents US Veterans in their disability benefits claims to the VA. The Attig Law Firm represents Veterans nationwide before the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA), or the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC).
For claims at the VA Regional Office level, the Attig Law Firm focuses its efforts on Veterans (and the Surviving Spouses of Veterans) in Texas, Arkansas, Colorado, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and South Carolina.
If you are a Veteran (or a surviving spouse of a Veteran) and have a claim before the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA), or the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC), it is very important that you consider hiring an attorney with experience handling such claims. Even if you don't hire the Attig Law Firm - find a reputable and competent attorney to help you with your Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC) Appeal.
No post on this website is meant to be legal advice and the posts on this website do not serve as a substitute for legal advice. Information is power, and we are providing this information to give you, the Veteran, some power. This information is not widely or easily accessible to Veterans. The information presented on this website is a general description of law and processes; each case is different, and there may be approaches listed here that are not accurate or applicable to your case. Likewise, there may be information that is applicable to your case that is not provided on this Veterans Disability Compensation Blog.
It is very important that the Attig Law Firm notes that each and every Veteran's claim is different. Just because the Attig Law Firm was able to secure substantial past-due benefits for one Veteran or Veteran's spouse does not mean or imply that we will be able to do so for you. In some cases, the Attig Law Firm may not be able to secure any financial compensation or past-due benefits due to the facts or law of your particular case.
It is best to consult with a lawyer familiar with VA Disability claims and benefits or a Veterans Service Organization to examine your particular case. If you would like to discuss your VA claim with a lawyer who handles VA Benefits and Disability Appeals, contact the Attig Law Firm, PLLC, for a free consultationwith a VA Benefits attorney.
Chris Attig, an Accredited Veterans Benefits attorney and Founder of the Attig Law Firm, PLLC is responsible for the content of the site. The principal office of Attig Law Firm, PLLC, is located in Dallas, Texas. Chris Attig is NOT Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. - Please view our website disclaimer.
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