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The Department of Veterans Affairs' Obligations Toward Claimants

Analysis of the Veterans Claims Assistance Act of 2000

By Meg Bartley, Barton F. Stichman & Ronald B. Abrams

The Veterans Claims Assistance Act of 2000 eliminates the requirement that to obtain the Department of Veterans Affairs' assistance in developing pertinent evidence, a claimant must first submit enough evidence to make the claim "well grounded." It also imposes a new duty on the department to notify claimants that it owes them veterans' benefits and specifies in detail the assistance that the department must give claimants. The Act will have an impact on new claims for veterans' benefits, on many claims currently pending before either the department or a reviewing court, as well as on some past claims.

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