Haug Partners Attorneys Prevail in an Appeal for Veteran

On December 28, 2015, the Court of Appeals for Veteran’s Claims (“CAVC”) remanded several issues in an appeal by Laurence Wilkins from a decision by the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (“Board”) denying certain disability benefits.

Mr. Wilkins served in the United States Marine Corps and fought in the Vietnam war, where, among other things, he rescued fellow marines from downed, burning aircraft.

Mr. Wilkins’s combat experiences caused him to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, which in turn caused him to suffer from erectile dysfunction. The Board denied disability benefits for Mr. Wilkins’s ED.

On appeal, the CAVC agreed with arguments developed by Haug Partners (formerly FLH) attorneys and remanded the case. Among other things, the court decided that the Board failed to adequately explain the reasons and bases for its decision denying disability benefits.

Further, the CAVC concluded that the Board incorrectly determined that Mr. Wilkins could not receive special monthly compensation for loss of use of a creative organ in addition to disability benefits for ED. The court also concluded that the Board erroneously overlooked evidence presented by Mr. Wilkins showing that certain disability benefits should have started earlier than the starting date specified by the Board.

Bryan Braunel prepared the briefs for Mr. Wilkins’s appeal, and Ying-Zi Yang and Janice Ye supported him with legal research.