Lawsuit by Veterans Service Organizations

On March 19, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a suit by two Veterans service organizations contending that the entire VA system for processing Veterans’ benefits claims is illegal and unconstitutional because of lengthy delays.  In Vietnam Veterans of America and Veterans of Modern Warfare v. Shinseki, a three-judge panel of the court agreed with the government and the lower court that the groups did not have standing to prosecute the case.  The Veterans organizations had charged that the VA violated the Administrative Procedure Act and the due process clause of the Constitution because of the average time it takes to process Veterans’ claims.  They sought an injunction requiring the VA to issue “an initial decision on every veteran’s claim for benefits within 90 days” and to “ensure that the appeals of claims decisions are resolved within 180 days.”


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