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NVLSP’s Veterans Benefits Manual: The VA Benefits Bible

Released 2/22/23 | Tags: Agent Orange, Burn Pits, Class Actions, Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, Military Sexual Trauma, PTSD, Toxic Exposures, Veteran's Benefits

The National Veterans Legal Services Program's (NVLSP) Veterans Benefits Manual (VBM) is the most comprehensive treatise on veterans law. Among advocates for veterans, it is held in very high regard and is commonly referred to as the "bible of veterans law".  In the past two years, the Veterans Benefits Manual has been cited six times in decisions by the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims  (CAVC).  

In Lawrence v. McDonough,  CAVC Judge Meredith wrote in the concurring opinion, with whom Judges Pietsch, Falvey, and Laurer joined,

        “the Veterans Benefits Manual . . .  is colloquially referred to as the VA benefits ‘Bible’ because ‘it provides a comprehensive summary of virtually every topic encountered in VA benefits practice and is regularly consulted by seasoned and new practitioners alike,’ . . . .” (internal citation omitted).

The Veterans Benefits Manuall is painstakingly updated annually.  It is designed to help those who advocate on behalf of veterans to more easily navigate the complex and evolving laws and regulations governing the benefits to which our veterans are entitled. The 2022-2023 edition was over 2,400 pages long and contains essential insight and analysis from practicing lawyers at NVLSP, a team of experts on the front line of veterans law. The Veterans Benefits Manual has been cited as legal authority in numerous court cases. In the 2022-2023 edition of the VBM, NVLSP will offer a special supplement on the PACT Act. 

Here is the list of cases that have cited the VBM as legal authority: 

1. Nat’l Org. of Veterans’ Advocates, Inc. v. Sec’y of Veterans Affairs, 927 F.3d 1263 (Fed. Cir. 2019)

2. Holton v. Shinseki, 557 F.3d 1362 (Fed. Cir. 2009)
3. Andrews v. McDonough, Vet. App. No. 19-3227 (May 28, 2021)
4. Mattox v. McDonough, Vet. App. No. 19-5212 (Apr. 26, 2021)
5. Harvey v. Shinseki, 24 Vet. App. 284 (2011)
6. Thompson v. Brown, 8 Vet. App. 169 (1995)
7. Rutledge v. Ill. Dep’t of Human Servs. 785 F.3d 258 (7th Cir. 2015)
Prewitt v. McDonough, Vet. App. No. 22-3306 (Dec. 5, 2022) (non-precedential)

9. Sprinkle v. McDonough, Vet. App. No. 20-3454 (Aug. 31, 2021) (non-precedential)

10.Lawrence v. McDonough, Vet. App. No. 20-5697 (May 26, 2021) (non-precedential)
11. Mendenhall v. McDonough, Vet. App. No. 19-6996 (Mar. 29, 2021) (non-precedential)
12. Purnell v. Shinseki, Vet. App. No. 13-3437 (Mar. 28, 2014) (non-precedential)
13. Guillot v. Nicholson, Vet. App. No. 05-3118 (June 26, 2007) (non-precedential)
14. Nitsch v. Nicholson, Vet. App. No. 05-3302 (May 14, 2007) (non-precedential)
15. Caldwell v. Derwinski, Fed. Cir. No. 92-7016 (July 28, 1992) (non-precedential)

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