42 T. Jefferson L. Rev. 89 (2019-2020)
Challenging the Presumption of Competency of Veterans Affairs Compensation and Pension Examiners: Shifting the Burden of Proof from the Veteran Back to the VA

handle is hein.journals/tjeflr42 and id is 95 raw text is: 







  CHALLENGING THE PRESUMPTION OF
  COMPETENCY OF VETERANS AFFAIRS
        COMPENSATION AND PENSION
 EXAMINERS: SHIFTING THE BURDEN OF
 PROOF FROM THE VETERAN BACK TO
                          THE VA


                          Nicole J. Soria*


I. THE  VA DISABILITY   APPEALS PROCESS AND THE
      PRESUMPTION OF COMPETENCY              .   ............ 95
      A.  The Presumption's Foundation and Application in the
          VA  Disability Appeals System ...............       96
          1. In Butler v. Principi, the Court Found That the
              Board Properly Applied the Presumption to the
              VA's Routine Mailing of a Notice to the Veteran
              97
          2. The Presumption of Competency Implies That all
              Examiners are Sufficiently Qualified to Conduct
              Each Exam They  Give and Provide Each Opinion
              They Write.......................... 98
              a. Cox v. Nicholson; The VA is not Required to
                 Affirmatively Establish an Examiner's
                 Competency  Before the Board is Permitted to


*     J.D. Candidate, Thomas Jefferson School of Law, 2020; M.B.A. California
State University, San Marcos, Cal., 2015; B.A. Spanish Language and Literature,
University of South Florida, Tampa, Fla., 2007. I would like to dedicate this Note to
my husband, father, and grandfather. My father and grandfather, through their service
to our country, inspired me to join the United States Marine Corps and serve in the war
in Afghanistan. My husband Jesse, also a former U.S. Marine, served three tours in
Iraq. After leaving the Marines, I worked as the Senior Paralegal at the Veterans Law
Group (VLG) in La Jolla, Cal. until beginning law school. Through my work at VLG,
I spoke with thousands of veterans going through the VA disability appeals process
and was inspired by each and every one of their stories, service and sacrifice. I wrote
this Note in hopes that the disability process for veterans will continue to be an
important and relevant issue for our nation and that the process will serve in the best
interests of those who selflessly put their lives in danger for us all.


89

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