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NVLSP’s Veterans Benefits Manual: The VA Benefits Bible

Released 6/22/21 | Tags:

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 2021 alone, the Veterans Benefits Manual has been cited four times in decisions by the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims  (CAVC).  

Most recently, 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 2020-2021 edition was over 2,200 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. 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)
8. Lawrence v. McDonough, Vet. App. No. 20-5697 (May 26, 2021) (non-precedential)
9. Mendenhall v. McDonough, Vet. App. No. 19-6996 (Mar. 29, 2021) (non-precedential)
10. Purnell v. Shinseki, Vet. App. No. 13-3437 (Mar. 28, 2014) (non-precedential)
11. Guillot v. Nicholson, Vet. App. No. 05-3118 (June 26, 2007) (non-precedential)
12. Nitsch v. Nicholson, Vet. App. No. 05-3302 (May 14, 2007) (non-precedential)
13. Caldwell v. Derwinski, Fed. Cir. No. 92-7016 (July 28, 1992) (non-precedential)

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