VA Law – Update on Blue Water Vets: Supreme Court grants extension

This week, the Supreme Court granted a 30-day extension to the Department of Justice contemplating an appeal of the lower-court’s January ruling extending presumptive benefits to Navy Veterans claiming exposure to toxic chemical defoliants during the Vietnam War, aka “blue water” veterans.

While this may seem reason to raise the alarm, advocates are not concerned. They say it is a “typical legal maneuver” and not a “serious threat” for benefits of blue water vets.

In case you missed it, in January, the federal court ruled that VA officials have used faulty reasoning when denying disability benefits to blue water veterans.

Several bills are pending in the House and Senate to address the issue, including bipartisan legislation announced last week from Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and Steve Daines, R-Mont. The House Veterans’ Affairs Committee is scheduled to discuss a proposal from Chairman Mark Takano, D-Calif., during a hearing next Wednesday.