VA Challenges Court’s Decision on Veteran Suicide Case

In May, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a 2-1 ruling against the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The Court found the VA did not utilize an effective suicide-prevention plan, nor did they make mental health care available enough to veterans, which had dire ramifications on some attempting to file veterans disability claims for their mental conditions. The Court referred to the VA’s actions as “unchecked incompetence.”

If it stands, the 9th Circuit’s ruling will provide veterans groups with the vehicle they would need to challenge the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) “procedures and timetables to speed health care to veterans.” The current administration is challenging that ruling, and seeks to have a new hearing granted in front of a larger panel on the basis the 9th Circuit “ignored basic limits on judicial authority.”

The administration does not believe the panel had the authority to even hear the case. According to their claim, Congress prevents appellate courts from “second-guessing the VA’s performance of” health care and benefits.

At the time of the original trial, 18 veterans were taking their own lives every day, which far outstretched the national average. For the veterans under VA care, the rate of suicides averaged 4-5 every day with the number of attempted suicides hovering around 1,000 per month.

If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, a South Florida disability attorney from Veterans Help Group is ready to help. To learn if you are entitled to certain programs and benefits contact our veterans disability rights firm today 1-855-855-8992.