Federal Circuit Rules Partial Knee Replacements Qualify for Temporary 100 Percent Rating

Gregory M. Rada Disability Compensation, Legal Update

On May 18, 2016, in Hudgens v. McDonald, the Federal Circuit ruled that partial knee joint replacements qualify for ratings under Diagnostic Code (DC) 5055, which is the diagnostic code that grants a temporary 100% rating for the year following a knee joint replacement, and then a minimum 30% rating thereafter. This is a great outcome for veterans undergoing partial knee replacement surgery, because …

Update on Camp Lejeune Presumptive Conditions

Gregory M. Rada Disability Compensation, Legal Update

Secretary McDonald recently revealed more details regarding VA’s plan to expand disability compensation eligibility to veterans who were exposed to contaminated water while stationed at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune from 1953 to 1987, including Reserve and National Guard personnel who would not normally be eligible for VA disability compensation benefits. The Department of Health and Human Services Agency for Toxic …

VA Establishing Presumptive Service Connection for Camp Lejeune Tainted Water

Gregory M. Rada Disability Compensation, Legal Update

The VA announced on Monday that it is beginning the process to amend its regulations and establish presumptive service connection for certain conditions from exposure to contaminated drinking water at U.S. Marine Corp Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. The VA already provides health care services to veterans who have any of 15 conditions and who were stationed at Camp Lejeune for …

VA’s New Standardized Forms and Intent to File a Claim

Gregory M. Rada Disability Compensation, Legal Update

VA’s requirement to use standardized forms to start claims and appeals has gone into effect as of March 25, 2015. In addition, the VA’s new “Intent to File a Claim” process replaced the old “informal claims” process. I’ve already discussed the details of the new standardized forms requirement here, as well as the intent to file a claim process here, so …

Veterans Law Legal Update: Beraud v. McDonald, 766 F.3d 1402 (Fed. Cir. 2014)

Gregory M. Rada Disability Compensation, Legal Update

  In September 2014, the Federal Circuit decided Beraud v. McDonald, carving out an exception to the general rule that a “subsequent final adjudication of a claim which is identical to a pending claim that has not been finally adjudicated terminates the pending status of the earlier claim.” Now, under Beraud, when a veteran submits evidence to the VA within the appeal period of …