Andrew G. Finkelstein, the law firm's managing partner, announced this week that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 8 - 0 in favor of Mr. David L. Henderson, a Korean War veteran. The court in, Henderson v. Shineski, decided that the right to "equitable tolling," a law which says that equitable issues can be considered when deadlines have passed, is available to Veterans.
Mr. Henderson filed an appeal from the denial of service connected benefits. Unfortunately he missed the 120 day deadline for filing his meritorious appeal with the Veterans Court by just 15 days. As a result, he was denied the benefits he had earned as a serviceman. This despite the fact that he had physician documentation stating his service-connected mental illness prevented him from meeting the deadline.
Mr. Henderson then sought legal assistance to appeal the Veterans Court’s decision.
A federal court also denied Mr. Henderson's claim, ruling that the deadline was "jurisdictional"
"I am incredibly proud of the great work accomplished by Finkelstein & Partners' Veterans Service Group and NOVA on behalf of Mr. Henderson and all of our nation's veterans," said Finkelstein. "To have this case accepted by the Supreme Court is a great accomplishment. To have the highest court in the land rule unanimously in this veteran’s favor is extraordinary,"
Sadly, Mr. Henderson did not live to reap the benefits of this triumphant ruling; he passed away last fall. He now leaves a legacy, however, that will have far-reaching benefits for our nation's veterans. The deadline for veterans to file claims will be determined using equitable factors, not an arbitrary deadline determined by an administrative body.
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Finkelstein & Partners' Veterans Services Group (VSG) is dedicated to ensuring our nation's veterans receive the benefits they have earned and deserve. Comprised of a team of veterans advocates which includes accredited attorneys, the VSG represents veterans seeking VA benefits for current medical conditions caused by their military service. We handle VA service-connection claims related to combat wounds, PTSD, TBI, toxin (such as Agent Orange) and environmental exposures, and other service-related medical problems. To learn more, visit www.lawampm.com or call 1-800-LAW-AMPM (1-800-526-2676)