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Adding Case Law to Statement in Support of Claim



My question is this.   Is it a good idea to list case law in your statements in support of claim?   Or even adding separate statement that lists all the case laws that support  a claim?

I personally think it would be a good idea to do so even at the risk of upsetting rater.  I personally do not have confidence of any rater properly deciding my claim or anyone else's for that matter.  I am not saying that all raters are bad but there is a large number of bad decisions and we as veterans are probably just as likely to receive a bad decision as often as we receive a good decision.  I base this from what I have read here as well as on a couple facebook pages.  Two immediately come to mind. 

1.  Someone posted an excerpt from a BVA decision overturning his denial where the decision stated (I am paraphrasing) - A veteran was  denied service connection for diabetic neuropathy and rater stated they could not find a connection for the current claim of diabetic neuropathy and their SERVICE CONNECTED Diabetes. 😮

2.  A veteran was denied service connection for a disability because they could not find any mention in their SMR.   This was discussed in a facebook forum.  The veteran stated that the disability was secondary to a current service connected disability.  His assumption was that the VA would connect the dots for him.  This led to a long debate about this because there were some that said the VA does not do that and others stated that the VA is required to connect the dots.  I was on the side where the VA was required to connect the dots because of their duty to assist.  While I disagreed with the side that said the VA is not required to do this I did see the logic where they were saying you have to connect the dots for them yourself.  Don't assume they will make for you.   I do recall in the past (IIRC) the form did not give you the option to file a claim secondary to something.  I do know you can do that now on ebenefits but I don't remember getting that option when I last filed in 2009

But I digress.

The main reason I make the request is because I see a lot of claims denied because raters are completely ignoring Buddy/Spouse/Lay statements and I feel if you have the law sitting there right in front of them it may not be so easy for them to just deny the claim. 

Edited by JKWilliamsSr (see edit history)
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you can add any information to a claim, I have actually attached copies of BVA cases to support some claims as well as internet articles to support the nexus of a claim. This is all considered evidence in suppoirt of a claim and the va should list the information you submitted when you get the award or denial of the claim. Of course they do not have to agree with anything you submit except the actual medical evidence., but I have seen the BVA cite internet articles that were submitted as supporting evidence that put a veteran on the hump in support of a claim.....

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Never trust the VA to connect the dots even though they are required to by law.

In my NOD on a decision I cited VA case law that supported my contention that my EED was incorrect.  This was on the advice of a member that I highly respect.

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I have always done that in my many issues with VA.

In one case, it was an excerpt from a past BVA case I had.That claim was rendered moot because I had won the claim at the RO level, and didnt know I should have withdraw the appeal from the BVA.

The BVA had made a "legal statement" supported by VA case law in the Moot decision.

This was probably in 1997- BVA stated if I was successful at any point with a direct SC death claim ( I had won a 1151 death claim) the VA would have to refund my FTCA offset.

In 2009 I won a BVA direct SC death claim.

My RO ignored the past  BVA statement ad refused to pay me the offset- until I called the OGC attorney who handled my settlement and told him the VA owed me more money-he was horrified, but after I ran this by him, a top honcho at OGC ordered the RO to refund my FTCA offset-and  the check was quickly in the mail.

I have used 38 CFR, 38 USC, M21-1M2, CAVC precedent cases, for myself and/or for others here I gave links,  and most recently I used an Office of General Counsel Precedent  Opinion.

I have had my RO ignored IMOs and even my husband's autopsy.

Do not let them get away with anything that supports your claims, but the BEST evidence is the proof of the claim medically.

No VA does not connect the dots at all, nor do they use common sense, and most claims need bonafide medical opinions, but  these days that often only comes from a real doctor, an IMO/IME doctor, who will give your medical records ( and SMRs if needed)the most thorough review they have ever gotten to that point.

Years ago here a member chastized me for advising to send the RO their own regs.I think he met an excerpt from M21-1MR I posted here for a claimant to use.He said it showed no respect for them.

Ha!  How many of us really get respect from the VA, and furthermore, I think half of the raters can barely read.

I go to the BVA web site many times every week. Many if not Most of those remands could have been decided at the RO level without an appeal.

Many claims are awarded at the BVA like mine was in 2009.

I filed it in 2003, got a double DRO review due to CUE in 2005 and the DRO ( same one who did the first review) told my former  vet rep ,whose office was in the RO building, she could not read the IMO I had from Dr. Bash. She handed the the IMO back to him- he said he was able to get her to order another posthumous C & P done- like that was the Holy Grail, 

but I asked him- if she cannot read an IMO from a well known Neuro-radiologist,  how can she possibly read the results of another C & P exam.?




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