Thursday, January 31, 2013
Andrews v. Shinseki
Andrews v. Shinseki, docket no. 09-2065 (Vet. App. Jan. 31, 2013) This case involves the question of whether the time period to use VA’s vocational rehabilitation benefits runs while a veteran is appealing a denial of a claim for such benefits. The CAVC held that the 12-year eligibility period for the use of VR benefits was stayed while the veteran’s appeal of an adverse decision regarding such benefits was pending. The Court also held that the Board was required to seek an additional opinion from a counseling psychologist before determining that the veteran did not suffer from an employment handicap sufficient to warrant an extension of benefits. The Board recognized that in 1994 the veteran had additional service-connected disabilities. Nevertheless, it relied on a 1991 VA psychologist’s report that did not include an assessment of the effect of the veteran’s subsequently adjudicated disabilities.