NVLSP Impact Report



Nehmer Class Action member Richard G. U.S. Army, 1966–1968

More than $5.2 billion dollars awarded in disability, death, and medical benefits to

1991 NVLSP and VA sign a consent decree in the Agent Orange class action, requiring the VA to pay more than $4.6 billion in retroactive compensation from 1991 to 2017 to hundreds of thousands of Vietnam veterans and their survivors for numerous types diseases related to Agent Orange exposure.

1991 NVLSP publishes the Veterans Benefits Manual, the nation’s first treatise on veterans benefits law, in an effort to increase the pool of effective advocates available to veterans seeking VA benefits.

1992 Congress begins funding the Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program (established by NVLSP , Disabled Veterans of America,The American Legion, and Paralyzed Veterans of America) to recruit, train, and mentor private bar attorneys to provide free representation to the many veterans who appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims without a representative. Congressional funding of this program continues to this day.

1993 In a class action lawsuit funded by the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, NVLSP forces the VA to pay more than $60 million in retroactive compensation and tens of millions of dollars in prospective compensation to more than 600 Puerto Rican veterans whose total (100 percent) disability ratings for their service-connected mental disorders were reduced as a result of illegal rules applied by VA in Puerto Rico, but nowhere else.

1999 NVLSP joins forces with Lexis Law Publishing to produce annually revised editions of the nation’s leading treatise on veterans law— NVLSP ’s Veterans Benefits Manual —in both print and electronic form. Since 1999, nearly 50,000 copies have been sold.

133,000 DISABLED VETERANS SECURE REFUNDS OF UNLAWFULLY WITHHELD TAXES FOR of veterans, service members, and their families thousands


2014 NVLSP discovers that for over 30 years the Department of Defense has erroneously withheld taxes from 133,000 disabled veterans’ disability severance payments, which are supposed to be tax-free. NVLSP obtains the sponsorship and leadership of Senator John Boozman ( R - AR ), Senator Mark Warner ( D-VA ), and Congressman David Rouzer ( R - NC ), and the “Combat- Injured Veterans Tax Fairness Act of 2016” was passed which provides eligible veterans the right to seek a refund of taxes they may have paid on their Disability Severance Pay.

2016 NVLSP convinces the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims to strike down as contrary to statute, the VA regulation denying reimbursement to veterans for any part of the emergency medical expenses they incur at a non- VA facility simply because the veteran has health insurance that covers part of the expenses incurred, in Staab v. Shulkin — NVLSP ’s precedential victory.The VA estimates that as a result of NVLSP ’s victory, it will be forced to readjudicate over 370,000 reimbursement claims.

2017 NVLSP creates a first-of-its-kind app, the VA Benefit Identifier App , to help veterans determine the specific VA benefits to which they are entitled. NVLSP makes the App available in English and Spanish. To protect privacy, no data or personal information is retained.

2018 NVLSP secures a landmark victory for veterans by persuading the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to overturn a 19-year old lower court precedent that prohibited the VA from awarding disability benefits to a veteran for disabling pain related to military service if the pain is not linked to a medical diagnosis.

2018 The Department of Veterans Affairs ( VA ) finalized a rule in January that, despite NVLSP ’s court victory in the 2016 Staab v. Shulkin , prohibits the VA from reimbursing veterans for almost all of their non- VA emergency medical expenses. In October NVLSP files another class action, Wolfe v. Wilkie , challenging the VA ’s January rule.

Powered by