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SCOTUS Makes Major Ruling On Disabled Veterans

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A lawsuit involving the timeframe for injured military soldiers has been determined by the Supreme Court.

“The case — Arellano v. McDonough — had been closely watched by veterans groups because of its potential to award tens of thousands of dollars to some veterans who failed to submit paperwork for military injuries within a year of separation from the service. The case, which has been debated in the federal court system for years, centered on Navy veteran Adolfo Arellano, who was seriously injured in an accident aboard an aircraft carrier in 1980. He was medically retired a year later,” according to Air Force Times.

“Arellano suffered from bipolar schizoaffective disorder as a result, and spent years either living on the street or under the care of family members. When his father died in 2011, he applied for disability benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs and was granted a monthly support stipend because of his service-connected injuries. However, because Arellano had not applied for benefits within a year of leaving the service he was not eligible to receive retroactive benefits dating back to the end of his time in the military. Current law states that veterans must file paperwork in that one-year window to backdate payouts to that military separation date,” the source noted.

“Those 30 years of back pay would have totaled hundreds of thousands of dollars for him. In October 2022, lawyers for Arellano argued that the one-year deadline was unfair, given that Arellano’s injuries made it impossible for him to apply for benefits on his own.

Not agreeing to the issue of fairness in the timeline, The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled on Monday to reject arguments by a disabled veteran that he and others who missed filing deadlines for disability benefits should be able to receive retroactive payouts if they had legitimate reasons for filing late. The Supreme Court on Monday unanimously rejected that assertion. Justice Amy Coney Barrett in the court’s decision wrote that federal rules are clear on the one-year time frame,” continued the news source.

“The statute sets out detailed instructions that explain when various types of benefits qualify for an effective date earlier than the default. Congress did not throw the door wide open in these circumstances or any other,” Barrett wrote.

Certainly, the SCOTUS decision establishing the time period will spark discussion regarding persons who served in the military but are unable to follow through on bureaucratic concerns on their own.

Last week, the Supreme Court made headlines after releasing its investigation on who may have leaked the draft opinion that reversed the precedent-setting Roe v. Wade decision on a “constitutional right” to abortion and returned the matter to the states.

The probe finished last year without identifying the source of the leak to Politico:

The investigation by the marshal of the Supreme Court included a forensic investigation of laptops and phones but found “no relevant information from these devices.” The marshal’s office determined that 82 employees had access to the opinion and interviewed 97 employees, all of whom denied leaking the opinion.

In addition, the marshal probed relationships between personnel and media contacts, with an emphasis on Politico. They also investigated assertions made on social media about who could have leaked the verdict, but “investigators found nothing to substantiate any of the social media allegations.”

“Some individuals admitted to investigators that they told their spouse or partner about the draft Dobbs opinion and the vote count, in violation of the Court’s confidentiality rules,” the investigation reads.

More on this story via The Republic Brief:

The admission that spouses were told widens the scope of the investigation to others not working in the SCOTUS and changes both the tone of the investigation and possibly the protocols involved for the judges in regard to secrecy due to the unprecedented leak. CONTINUE READING…

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