MalContends – Why the bureaucratic lust to screw our veterans over? Doesn’t everyone love veterans? No. Veterans Day 2020 saw the veteran’s rights community rallying around another veteran, identified as “Bo” in administrative court litigation at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
Watch this veteran’s rights case, BO v Wilkie, next month. It will signal a lot about how we really care about our veterans. It’s a fight for veterans’ benefits guaranteed by Congress.
Until them Happy Veterans Day 2020
BO v Wilkie – An Overview
by Hunton Andrews Kurth
Two veterans were introduced at church. One veteran was unexpectedly denied Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to attend Yale divinity school because of a “misinterpretation”, following a multi-year process to gain his church’s endorsement to attend seminary and admission to Yale Divinity School. Hunton Andrews Kurth attorney Tim McHugh, who coincidentally used the Post-9/11 GI Bill to attend college and law school after serving in the Army, took on the case along with Dominion Energy’s Pro Bono attorney and fellow veteran.
In August 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims issued a major decision in the case – BO v Wilkie – that could restore billions of dollars in Post-9/11 GI Bill and other educational benefits to military service members of the Post-9/11 era. The court rejected the practice of capping the benefits and reversed a decision by the VA’s Board of Veterans’ Appeals, ordering the board to recalculate BO’s entitlement to GI Bill benefits.
In January 2020, the court denied the VA’s motion to stay the BO decision. The VA has since filed an appeal which was authorized by the Solicitor General in May 2020. The case is pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit with the telephonic oral argument scheduled for December 9, 2020.
GI Bill Background
Since World War II, Congress has provided veterans with different GI Bill benefits for different periods of qualifying service. HOWEVER, since 2009, the Department of Veterans Affairs began capping most veterans’ combined GI Bill benefits at 36 months if they had more than one period of separately qualifying service.