AKAKA INTRODUCES BILL ALLOWING VETERANS TO CHALLENGE VA DISABILITY RATING SCHEDULE
Legislation expands legal rights for veterans seeking compensation for service-connected disabilities
March 10, 2008
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI), Chairman of the Veterans' Affairs Committee, introduced legislation today to expand legal recourse for veterans seeking compensation for service-connected disabilities.
The Veterans' Rating Schedule Review Act would expand the jurisdiction of the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC) to allow for review of cases challenging the Department of Veterans Affairs rating schedule, the tool VA uses to determine the degree of a veterans' service-connected disability. Under current law, veterans cannot bring a case challenging the Rating Schedule to the CAVC. The legislation Senator Akaka introduced would remedy this by allowing the court to consider whether the Rating Schedule violates provisions in Chapter 11 of Title 38 of the US Code, the body of law which covers veterans' compensation for service-connected disability or death.
"I expect VA to comply with all laws passed by Congress in developing and revising the Rating Schedule. However, our nation's veterans deserve a forum where they can challenge the Rating Schedule when they believe that a statute passed by Congress to provide compensation for the service-disabled is being violated" said Senator Akaka.
This might sound like Senator Akaka has come to the rescue of veterans in their fight against the inherent injustice and denial of civil rights in what has become known as "the Hamster Wheel" of Veteran Law. Not So!
Senator Akaka's proposal does not get the veteran out of the closed system wherein the Department of Veteran's Affairs has absolute power that denies basic civil rights of veterans to due process and legal precedent. It does not move the veteran into the American legal system where these basic legal concepts are guaranteed to all citizens. It merely plays with the veteran's positioning in the endless queue of "Veteran Law."
We've said "We won't be fooled again!" We aren't. Senator Akaka has failed us once more. Throw the bum out!
Reference NVLSP Testimony regarding the functioning of the CAVC.
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