Veterans Benefits Manual

Veterans Benefit Manual by NVLSP attorneys is the practical guide for the veterans benefits advocate, with critical information to navigate benefits issues.

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Print Book:1 Volume, Softbound, 2,476 pages
2022-2023 Edition
ISBN: 9781663347992
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2022-2023 Edition
ISBN: 9781663348005
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2022-2023 Edition Editors:

Barton F. Stichman, Special Counsel to and co-founder of the National Veterans Legal Services Program
Ronald B. Abrams, Special Counsel to and Former Joint Executive Director of the National Veterans Legal Services Program
Richard V. Spataro, Director of Training and Publications of the National Veterans Legal Services Program
Stacy A. Tromble, Director of Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims Litigation of the National Veterans Legal Services Program
Rochelle Bobroff, Director of Pro Bono at the National Veterans Legal Services Program, supervising the Lawyers Serving Warriors® program.

The 2022-2023 edition of the Veterans Benefits Manual has been thoroughly updated with the important developments in veterans' law over the past year. The most significant new information in the recent edition of the Manual has been about the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017 (AMA), which took effect on February 19, 2019. There is updated information in the 2022-2023 edition of the Manual about how the modernized review system has been operating in practice. Most of that information appears in Chapters 12, 13, and 16. Highlights of the other updates include advocacy essentials such as:

  • A new chapter devoted to the types of military department payments to which active duty servicemembers and veterans are entitled, including Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC) and Concurrent Retirement and Disability Pay (CRDP) (Chapter 20);
  • The important new presumptions of service connection for diseases now recognized as associated with exposure to toxic particulate matter and emissions from burn pits in Southwest Asia (Section 3.9.2);
  • The new exceptions to VA deadlines resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and recent disruptions to VA’s mailing systems (Sections 5.8.6, 5.11.7, 12.8, and 12.9);
  • The expansions ordered by the courts to a claimant’s right to file a supplemental claim (Sections 12.5, 12.8, and 14.1.2);
  • Updated and expanded description of the types of claims based on clear and unmistakable error (CUE) that have been successful (Section 14.4.1);
  • The right to additional months of eligibility for GI Bill educational benefits currently being considered by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (Section 11.2.4);
  • Expanded discussion of the categories of surviving spouses entitled to Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) and other VA survivor benefits, even though they remarried after the veteran’s death (Section 7.7.2.4.5);
  • Description of the class action settlements opening the door to veterans previously denied an upgrade to a less than honorable discharge to re-apply to the Army, Navy, or Air Force Discharge Review Boards for reconsideration (Sections 21.2 and 21.3);
  • Expanded advocacy advice for applying to a Board for Correction of Military Records (Section 21.2);
  • Updates to the jurisdiction and workload of the VA’s Pension Management Centers (Section 6.1.1.1); and
  • Updated information about appealing medical decisions through the Veterans Health Administration’s Clinical Appeals Process (Section 10.3.4).

The 2021-2022 Edition ISBN was 9781663324528.

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Table of contents

 Chapter 1  Introduction And How to Use This Manual

PART I  DISABILITY BENEFITS FOR VETERANS
Chapter 2  Veterans' Basic Eligibility For VA Benefits
Chapter 3  Compensation for Veterans with Service-Connected Disabilities
Chapter 4  VA Disability Benefits or Damages for Injury or Death Caused by VA Health
  Care or Other VA Activities
Chapter 5  Setting, Increasing, or Reducing a Veterans' Service-Connected Disability
  Rating
Chapter 6  Pension For Veterans with Non-Service-Connected Disabilities

PART II  VA BENEFITS FOR NON-VETERANS
Chapter 7  VA Benefits For Family Members

PART III  RULES AFFECTING THE AMOUNT OF BENEFITS PAID
Chapter 8  Effective Dates For Awards of Benefits
Chapter 9  Special Issues For Disability And Death Benefits

PART IV  VA HEALTH CARE AND OTHER BENEFITS
Chapter 10  VA Health Care
Chapter 11  Other VA Benefits

PART V  THE VA CLAIMS ADJUDICATION PROCESS
Chapter 12  Adjudication of Legacy and Modernized Claims by VA Regional Offices
Chapter 13  Board Of Veterans' Appeals
Chapter 14  Avenues Available to Correct Errors in Final BVA Decisions and Common
  Errors Appealable to the Court
Chapter 15  Court Review of VA Decision-Making

PART VI  ADVOCACY ON BEHALF OF VA CLAIMANTS
Chapter 16  Reviewing VA Claims Files
Chapter 17  Effective Advocacy Before the VA
Chapter 18  Obtaining Military Records And Information To Help Substantiate A Claim
Chapter 19  Attorney's and Agent's Fees Paid By VA Claimants Or By The VA

PART VII  CORRECTION OF MILITARY RECORDS
Chapter 20  Military Compensation
Chapter 21  Correcting Military Records

GLOSSARY
TABLE OF CASES
FORMS APPENDIX
INDEX