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S. 3192, the Fair Access to Veterans Benefits Act of 2010 has been proposed

Previously on this blog, I reported on my firm’s involvement in preparing and submitting an Amicus Brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in the Henderson case.  Veterans are afforded 120 days in which to file an appeal with the CAVC (Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims) after they are issued a denial of benefits from the Board of Veterans Appeals.  As it stands now, if a Veteran does not file a notice of appeal within the 120 day deadline, he/she loses the opportunity to appeal. Given that many Veterans are prevented from adhering to or appreciating the deadline due to the very disabilities for which they are seeking benefits, it is argued that equitable tolling be applied to permit the Veteran an avenue of appeal in the event the deadline is missed. Recently, on April 12, 2010, Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania has introduced S. 1392, the Fair Access to Veterans Benefits Act of 2010.  This bill would provide a means for veterans to have late appeal filings to the CAVC excused if the veteran can show “good cause” for his/her failure to meet the deadline.