The Supreme Court Rules that Veterans must prove VA mistakes make difference in outcome of Claims

(MILITARY TIMES)  WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court has made it harder for veterans to challenge the denial of medical claims by the Veterans Affairs Department.

The high court, in a 6-3 decision on Tuesday, said veterans who contend the VA failed to tell them what information was needed to justify their claims must prove that the VA’s mistakes made a difference in the outcome of their cases.

A federal appeals court in Washington earlier ruled that the burden was on the VA to prove the errors were not harmful to the veterans.

The case involved two veterans who said their injuries were related to their military service.

Woodrow Sanders, a World War II Army veteran, said a bazooka explosion in 1944 damaged the vision in his right eye. Decades later, he went to a VA hospital seeking cost-free treatment. A VA board denied his claim, saying it could not be proven now that the injury was service related.

Patricia Simmons said she suffered hearing loss when she was on active duty from 1978 to 1980.

The case is Shinseki v. Sanders, 07-1209.

EDITORS NOTE:  THIS IS ABSOLUTE BULLSHIT.  DOUBLE THINK.  THE COURT IS SAYING THAT THE VETERANS MUST PROVE THAT MISTAKES MADE BY THE VA, I.E. THE FACT THAT THE VA DOES NOT INFORM YOU OF ANY OF YOUR RIGHTS AND DOES NOT TELL YOU WHAT YOU NEED TO SEND IN WITH YOUR APPLICATION FOR YOU CLAIM, MADE A DIFFERENCE IN THE OUTCOME OF THE CLAIMS BEING DENIED.  YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE A ROCKET SCIENTIST TO FIGURE THE ANSWER OUT.   THE VA, JUST LIKE ANY INSURANCE COMPANY, REQUIRES EVIDENCE TO BACK UP YOUR CLAIM.  THE VA DOESN’T TELL YOU ABOUT WHAT PROGRAMS YOU HAVE ACCES TO AND WHAT YOU NEED TO DO WHEN FILING A CLAIM.  THEY GIVE YOU A FORM THAT LOOKS LIKE THE APPLICATION YOU FILL OUT TO JOIN THE MILITARY, AND THE VETERANS USUALLY DON’T HAVE COPIES OF THEIR PERSONAL MEDICAL RECORDS FROM THE MILITARY (UNLESS SOMEONE WARNED THEM) TO MAIL IN.  WHEN YOU GET OUT OF THE MILITARY YOUR RECORD GETS SENT TO VIRGINIA AND SITS IN A WAREHOUSE.  YOU HAVE TO FILE A REQUEST TO GET A COPY AND IT TAKES ABOUT A YEAR FOR YOU TO RECIEVE IT.  THE SYSTEM IS SET UP TO FUCK THE VETERANS.  I WOULD KNOW.

http://militarytimes.com/news/2009/04/ap_VAclaims_ruling_042109/

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