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Is A Claim Decision Letter Is Legally Binding?


cowgirl
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  • HadIt.com Elder

My cowgirl question of the day. Got my thinking cap on today.

"When it comes to disability ratings, is the entire VA decision letter legally binding? or only the wording part of the decision letter legal and binding?"

As I read about VA court cases, precidented and unprecidented, I wonder if the court holds the entire decision, numbers and date or simply a portion thereof.

Are only the words legal? or everything on the letter including dates and numbers? Or is only the raters statement and what is attributed to the compensation examiner or other medical professional held to be binding?

Just wondering really how to deterimine if a NOD is needed, by the details on the letter or the intent. I suspect the intent.

Best to'ya,

Cg'up2009!

Edited by cowgirl
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CG..

If I understand it correctly, the decision becomes final after one year. I do think the VA has a

"weasel" clause, however, "in the absence of CUE".

So, I think the VA can change the decision the first year, and even after a year, they can allege the document had clear, unmistakable errors.

And, of course, they can still call you in for a "reduction C&P" up to 10 years based on your condition's "improvement".

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Sure bronco, thats all true. But I guess I was sorting out the letter and wondering if every part of it was legal.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Why, CowGirl Darlin', you know that the VA is here to help and protect you. To see that you are taken care of, you and the widows and orphans, yada, yada, ding-ding!

I just cannot understand such distrust of a non-advesarial, government of the people, by the people and FOR the people, institution such as the VA.

Why, it just breaks my heart, seeing all this suspension of trust and cordiality directed toward one of my mostest favorite gubbermintal entities.

Now I fear I must go sit somewhere by myself to mourn.

You have, albeit unintentionally, caused an excerbation of my major dependency disorder.

In fact, I feel spoiliated!

Edited by LarryJ
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  • HadIt.com Elder

Cowgirl

I believe a VA decision is a administrative legal document in all aspects. You get paid based on the rating decision so it has that degree of legality. If you get a decision that says as of 2/2/2009 you are 50% disabled for a heart condition that is a binding decision until you change it via an appeal or the VA does a CUE on itself.

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Cowgirl - I agree with John. His take on it is my take on it as well.

Larry - Thanks as always for the laugh!!

Bronco -

I think it is up to 20 years, not 10 years that the VA can call you in even if you are P&T. There is a very interesting case I read about a while back on VAwatchdog.org regarding P&T about a guy with schizophrenia (sp?) who was called in for an immediate C&P review exam at literally 19 years, 2 weeks, and a couple of days. Surprise, surprise - the VA took away his 100% rating and gave him a much lower rating. The vet took it all the way up the chain of command and got it overturned on the lay evidence of his father, I believe, but it took him years. He wasn't in treatment so the VA took that to mean he was healed of all mental disorders. Like time heals you of a schitzo disorder.

The vet's name was really strange, like Doyenheimer or something. So, until you pass 20 years (and not 19 yrs, 3 wks, and days) the VA can and sometimes does call you in for another C&P exam.

Thanks,

TS Snave

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Cowgirl

I believe a VA decision is a administrative legal document in all aspects. You get paid based on the rating decision so it has that degree of legality. If you get a decision that says as of 2/2/2009 you are 50% disabled for a heart condition that is a binding decision until you change it via an appeal or the VA does a CUE on itself.

GREAT question, CG...thanks for your response John because I was just wondering the same thing.

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