Earlier this month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit overturned a 19-year precedent that denied disability claims for pain without connection to a specific medical diagnosis or event. Veteran advocates estimate that over 11,000 disability claims have been denied by the Department of Veterans Affairs, which asserted “pain alone is not a disability for the purpose of VA disability compensation.”
This victory for disabled veterans has been a long time in the making. The most thorough coverage thus far can be found in the Pensacola News Journal:
Lawyers at the nonprofit National Veterans Legal Services Program had been screening Board of Veterans’ Appeals decisions for years, looking for just the right case involving denial of disability compensation… to challenge a 1999 precedent-setting ruling. – Tom Philpott
Though it remains to be seen how this landmark ruling will manifest (the Department of Veterans Affairs has yet to release an official statement), many are cautiously optimistic. In addition to the Pensacola News Journal article, check out this Military Times article for more information. We will be sure to keep you updated as this develops.
Have you had a VA disability compensation claim denied? Have you had a successful or unsuccessful appeal? We’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments section below, or on our Facebook page.