Class-Action filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims

Yesterday, April 6, 2015, a Vietnam vet filed a class-action lawsuit over delayed appeals on veterans’ disability benefits. The case is the first class-action lawsuit filed in the United State Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. Mr. Conley Monk, Jr. is the lead plaintiff. He is a Marine Corps veteran from Connecticut who served in Vietnam in 1969-70 and was exposed to Agent Orange, the herbicide used in the war at that time. In 2011, he was diagnosed with PTSD and Diabetes. Diabetes Mellitus Type 2 , characterized by high blood sugar levels resulting from the body’s inability to respond properly to the hormone insulin, is considered a presumptive disease associated with exposure to Agent Orange. Mr. Monk applied for Veterans’ disability compensation from the V.A and was denied. He appealed in 2013.

It has been 20 months and the department has yet to respond to his appeal. Mr. Monk, now 66 years old, recently had a stroke and is living in subsidized housing.

Reporter Dave Phillipps wrote in the New York Times:

The lawsuit claims that the long waits amount to a denial of benefits and asks the court to order the V.A. to make a decision within 30 days on every appeal that has been pending for more than a year if the applicant has a financial or medical hardship.

“Justice delayed for these veterans is justice denied, unconscionably and unacceptably,” Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, the ranking Democrat on the Veterans Affairs Committee, said in an interview Monday. “I hear from veterans every day about this issue. Many of them are close to poverty, struggle with homelessness and health problems. For them, these delays have real-life consequences.”

Mr. Monk is just one of thousands of veterans in similar situations. He said that’s why the lawsuit urges the VA to decide appeals faster so veterans, especially the elderly aren’t left waiting years for compensation related to their military service.

Cameron Firm PC has certified Veteran Appeals Lawyers on staff who will fight with you to secure the benefits you deserve. We understand the sacrifices you have made. Call Cameron Firm, PC at 800-861-7262 for a free consultation about your appeal. As a Veteran himself, Mr. Cameron understands the military appeal system and will help you secure the benefits you deserve. We are here to help you.


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