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16 Fed. Cir. B.J. 53 (2006-2007)
No Claim Adjudication without Representation: A Criticism of 38 U.S.C. Sec. 5904(c)

handle is hein.journals/fedcb16 and id is 69 raw text is: Note

No Claim Adjudication Without
Representation: A Criticism of 38
U.S.C. § 5904(c)
Matthew J. Dowd*
In early 2005, both Democrats and Republicans announced plans to in-
troduce legislation that would increase the death benefit for veterans from
the current amount of $12,000 to $100,000.' On May 11, 2005, President
Bush signed into law the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act
for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Tsunami Relief, 2005.2 The
legislation increased the death gratuity to a minimum of $100,000.' Given
the courageous and honorable duties performed by members of the U.S.
military, few legislators voiced any opposition to the bill, and rightfully so.
As of July 12, 2006, over 2,500 U.S. servicemen and women have died in
the current military activities in Iraq, defending our country's interests and
securing the right of the Iraqi people to determine their future.4 The families
* The author is a J.D. candidate at The George Washington University Law School and
a registered patent agent at Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox P.L.L.C. An earlier version of
this article received First Place in the 2005 Paralyzed Veterans of America Annual Writing
Competition. This article reflects the present thoughts of the author and should not be at-
tributed to Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox PL.L.C. or any of its former, current, or future
clients. The author thanks William Mailander, General Counsel of the Paralyzed Veterans of
America, and Linda Blauhut, Associate General Counsel of Paralyzed Veterans of America,
for their assistance.
1 See, e.g., S. 121, 109th Cong. § 1 (2005); S. 44, 109th Cong. § 2 (2005); James
Barron, For Families of Fallen Soldiers, The 2nd Knock Brings $12,000, N.Y TIMES, Jan. 26,
2005, at Al.
2 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror,
and Tsunami Relief, 2005, Pub. L. No. 109-13, 119 Stat. 231.
§ 1013, 119 Stat. at247.
See U.S. Dept. of Defense, Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF)/Operation Enduring
Freedom (OEF) U.S. Casualty Status, http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf.

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