On Friday, April 8, 2016, a United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims’ panel comprised of three judges fought against a Department of Veterans Affairs’ regulation. According to the National Veterans Legal Services Program, the VA has relied on this regulation since 2009 in order to deny veterans reimbursement requests from those who have acquired emergency medical expenses outside the VA healthcare system.
The U.S. Court of Appeals rebuked the VA and stated that the regulation is completely inconsistent with the statute that was amended by Congress in 2009. However, even after that statute was amended, the VA failed to remedy the unlawful consistency.
The National Veterans Legal Services program brought the case, Richard W. Staab v. Robert A. McDonald, when a veteran of the Air Force underwent an open-heart surgery after suffering a heart attack in 2012.The veteran acquired nearly $48,000 in medical costs. Although Medicare covered part of his medical expenses, the veteran sought help from the VA by requesting reimbursement for those expenses that were not covered by Medicare.
After his request was denied by the VA Medical Center, his case moved through a number of appeal processes and finally made it to the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. The panel of judges decided that the regulation the VA has used to deny these veterans compensation was invalid.
How This Can Affect Other Veterans
According to the joint executive director of National Veterans Legal Services Program, this ruling can help many veterans and their families. Now, the VA will be required to amend the unlawful regulation that should have been remedied and compensate those veterans who were previously denied reimbursement for medical expenses. These veterans can do so by claiming that their previous denials contained errors.
George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers is Here for You
If you are a veteran who has been denied your right to receive reimbursement for emergency medical costs, we encourage you to get in touch with our South Carolina veterans benefits lawyers at George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers right away. We can look into your case and determine which strategies can help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Because we truly care about our veterans, our team works diligently to see that each client is cared for from beginning to end.
Call a South Carolina veterans’ benefits attorney at George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers right away, and we will provide you with a 100% risk-free consultation!