CUE means the VA did something in your claim which is a clear violation of their own laws. One example can be when a veteran files a claim, the claim remains open until they adjudicate it.
Many times, the claim will sit in a file for years before someone gets around to deciding the issues. Once in a great while, a veteran will submit a claim, and nothing will ever be done about it. Years later, the veteran may submit a new claim for the same disability. If the VA grants the claim, the effective date of the award should be the date of the old claim, not the new one.
This applies only to claims that were never adjudicated. If the VA did anything in the way of rejecting the claim, then it has been adjudicated. I often suggest to every veteran to save every letter or piece of paper they receive from the VA. That way, if you do file for the same disability years after you haven’t heard about an original claim, you have the proof in hand. If you don’t save your paper work, the VA may say you never filed, and you wont be able to prove that you did.
This situation is really not a mistake in the law, but a mistake in applying the law because they didn’t adjudicate your claim. In another case, a veteran was rated at 70% for PTSD and filed for unemployability based on the fact that he couldn’t work. Voc Rehab had turned him down for training, and he was on medication. The VA denied him the 100% rating because they said his isolation from society (typical among vets with PTSD) was self-imposed.
The Code of Federal Regulations doesn’t say anything about self-imposed isolation, as far as I know. The only way you couldn’t have self-imposed isolation is if you were in prison in solitary confinement. The VA never mentioned anything about his inability to work or anything about his work history. The total isolation and withdrawal from society due to PTSD rates 100%.
Not only did the VA violate the law by not examining him for his ability to work, they made up some fiction about his isolation. This is really grabbing at straws on their part, and is a clear violation of their own laws. This claim went to the Veterans Court of Appeals, and was remanded back to the Regional Office to be fixed. It had been going on since 1989. In the end, the veteran was granted 100% going back to 1989. He ended up getting somewhere around 60,000 in back pay.
CUE can be hard to prove, but your service organization will probably be able to spot clear violations in the law, and follow up with you. If the service organization offers to take the case to the Veterans Court of Appeals, you probably have a good chance because they wont take a case they don’t think they can win.
Any veteran rated at 70% for PTSD should file for unemployability when they can’t work.
If you’re not sure about CUE in your claim, ask someone who knows the law. And never give up!
Dennis Latham Books
Dennis Latham Books