Veterans Benefits Manual


By Barton F. Stichman

cover image of Veterans Benefits Manual

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2022-2023 Edition Editors:

Barton F. Stichman, Special Counsel to and co-founder of the National Veterans Legal Services Program

Ronald B. Abrams, Special Counsel to and Former Joint Executive Director of the National Veterans Legal Services Program

Richard V. Spataro, Director of Training and Publications of the National Veterans Legal Services Program

Stacy A. Tromble, Director of Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims Litigation of the National Veterans Legal Services Program

Rochelle Bobroff, Director of Pro Bono at the National Veterans Legal Services Program, supervising the Lawyers Serving Warriors® program.

The 2022-2023 edition of the Veterans Benefits Manual has been thoroughly updated with the important developments in veterans' law over the past year. The most significant new information in the recent edition of the Manual has been about the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017 (AMA), which took effect on February 19, 2019. There is updated information in the 2022-2023 edition of the Manual about how the modernized review system has been operating in practice. Most of that information appears in Chapters 12, 13, and 16. Highlights of the other updates include advocacy essentials such as:

  • A new chapter devoted to the types of military department payments to which active duty servicemembers and veterans are entitled, including Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC) and Concurrent Retirement and Disability Pay (CRDP) (Chapter 20);
  • The important new presumptions of service connection for diseases now recognized as associated with exposure to toxic particulate matter and emissions from burn pits in Southwest Asia (Section 3.9.2);
  • The new exceptions to VA deadlines resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and recent disruptions to VA's mailing systems (Sections 5.8.6, 5.11.7, 12.8, and 12.9);
  • The expansions ordered by the courts to a claimant's right to file a supplemental claim (Sections 12.5, 12.8, and 14.1.2);
  • Updated and expanded description of the types of claims based on clear and unmistakable error (CUE) that have been successful (Section 14.4.1);
  • The right to additional months of eligibility for GI Bill educational benefits currently being considered by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (Section 11.2.4);
  • Expanded discussion of the categories of surviving spouses entitled to Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) and other VA survivor benefits, even though they remarried after the veteran's death (Section;
  • Description of the class action settlements opening the door to veterans previously denied an upgrade to a less than honorable discharge to re-apply to the Army, Navy, or Air Force Discharge Review Boards for reconsideration (Sections 21.2 and 21.3);
  • Expanded advocacy advice for applying to a Board for Correction of Military Records (Section 21.2);
  • Updates to the jurisdiction and workload of the VA's Pension Management Centers (Section; and
  • Updated information about appealing medical decisions through the Veterans Health Administration's Clinical Appeals Process (Section 10.3.4).
  • Veterans Benefits Manual