Navigating the world of VA disability benefits can sometimes feel like a maze.
With so many rules, decisions, and appeals, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.
But there’s a beacon of hope for veterans who believe that a mistake was made in their previous claim.
It’s called a Clear and Unmistakable Error or CUE claim, and it could be your ticket to a fair judgment.
How Do I Know If My Claim Is a CUE?
Not all errors fall under CUE. In fact, CUEs are reserved for those blatant errors that are so obvious, they make everyone agree a mistake was undeniably made.
For instance, if a decision was made without looking at all the correct facts available at the time or if the laws were misapplied, then you have a case for a CUE claim.
What’s Not a CUE?
Understanding what doesn’t qualify as a CUE is equally crucial.
If, for instance, you believe the VA’s interpretation of a certain medical diagnosis was incorrect, but it’s based on a later diagnosis, it’s not considered a CUE.
Similarly, issues regarding the VA’s duty to assist or disputes about their judgment in evaluating facts aren’t under the CUE umbrella.
Successful CUE Claims: A Closer Look
So when does a CUE claim actually work?
Typically, veterans must prove that the VA didn’t use the right rules or applied them wrongly.
But remember, the mistake has to be huge.
Even small oversights might not qualify.
Getting Retroactive Benefits
Here’s the exciting part.
If you win a CUE claim, you could get benefits dating back to when the VA received your previous claim.
That’s potentially years of benefits you missed out on!
Need to know how much the VA may potentially owe you?
Check out our backpay calculator below!
The BVA and CUE Claims
The Board of Veterans’ Appeals (BVA) plays a significant role in CUE claims.
The tricky part?
If your BVA decision was recent and can still be appealed elsewhere, you can’t file a CUE claim yet.
Moreover, if a decision was appealed multiple times and denied, challenging it as a CUE might not be possible.
Want to know more about the Board of Veterans’ Appeals?
Check out our guide below.
How to File a CUE Claim
Filing a CUE claim has its own set of rules. You must:
Write a motion highlighting the error.
Sign it yourself or have your representative do it.
Include important details like your name, VA filing number, and the date of the BVA decision.
Be crystal clear that it’s a CUE motion, not just a request for reconsideration.
And a heads up! The VA Regional Office isn’t involved in CUE decisions.
A Few More Things to Keep in Mind
- New Evidence: In CUE claims, you can’t present new evidence, but you can request a hearing.
- One Shot at CUE: Typically, only one CUE challenge is allowed for a claim. So make it count and raise all potential issues at once.
- Appealing BVA’s Decision: If the BVA denies your CUE claim, you can appeal to the Court of Appeals of Veterans Claims (CAVC).
Filing a CUE claim can be a game-changer for many veterans.
It’s a way to tell the VA that mistakes happen, but they need to be fixed.
Have Questions About Appealing Your Claim or Understanding How the Claims Process Works?
The attorneys at Hill & Ponton are here to support you with appealing a claim.
If you are intending to appeal a denied claim, you can contact us for an evaluation and we can help you with this process.
However, if you are considering filing an initial claim, or even if you are interested in learning about the appeals process, we offer a free ebook to get you started on the right foot!
The Road to VA Compensation Benefits will help break down the claims process from start to finish. Click the link below to learn more.
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