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Why VARO frequently ignores Benefit of the Doubt and other rules.

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Dustoff1970

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Decades of frustrated veterans filing well grounded claims with solid evidence to be then denied (often quickly) by VARO raters may be due to U.S. Supreme Court rulings of old and even recent.  For example.

As the Supreme Court explained in NLRB v. Noel Canning (2014): “The longstanding ‘practice of the government’ . . . can inform [the] determination of what the law is.” That is in line with James Madison’s view that “a regular course of practice” can “liquidate and settle the meaning” of ambiguous constitutional provisions.

Also. The Supreme court ruled in Chevron v. Natural Resources Defense Council  Inc., 467 U.S. 837 (1984)      

Under Chevron, a court defers to agency interpretations of ambiguous statutes, as long as the judge finds the interpretation to be reasonable. If the court limits or upends the Chevron doctrine, the ruling would pull back the leeway that agencies have had in interpreting statutes.

Often veterans such as me have to win our claims on appeal to the BVA and/or U.S. CAVC veterans court based upon the very same solid evidence in our well grounded claims that was denied and should have been initially approved at the VARO adjudicator level.  "Delay and Deny or Die" or go away is a well founded opinion among many vets regarding VARO claims raters.    Benefit of the Doubt rule under 38 CFR and 38 US Code allows a great leeway for the senior VA raters in their SUBJECTIVE judgement regarding our claims and they take comfort IMHO in the above court rulings when denying our disability claims.

At least several times over many years the VARO has falsely stated I provided no evidence to support my claim that I then won on appeal.

Supposedly the current Supreme court is reviewing the Chevron decision (reevaluating it) in some present cases before the court.  We will see.

My comment is not legal advice as I am not a lawyer, paralegal or VSO.

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  • Content Curator/HadIt.com Elder

Here is a link to the Chevron deference-related review case: https://www.scotusblog.com/2023/05/supreme-court-will-consider-major-case-on-power-of-federal-regulatory-agencies

Additionally, the CUE ruling forced the VA to completely exclude benefit of the doubt from any CUE claim. If a vet had a moron examine him or misinterpet the laws/regs/policies during claim processing, and they don't identify the issue before the 1 year claim finalization window, then they are basically hosed when it comes to benefit of the doubt. Yeah, they can go back and reopen or try for an EED via liberalizing laws/rulings, but it seriously shackles their ability to truly seek justice. Most vets just blindly trust the system like the way they were told to just follow orders in the military. If they happen to learn they they were wronged, it is too late for an EED and any retroactive benefits...

I wonder if the VA workers who said you had no supporting evidence ever received corrective training so they do not continue making the exact same mistakes.

Edited by Vync
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