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Petition to Amend 38 C.F.R. § 3.654(b)(2) to Correct an Inconsistency Between the Regulation and the Underlying Statutory Mandate, and to Ensure that Disabled Veterans Receive the Disability Benefits to Which They Are Entitled

Kara Rollins
Litigation Counsel

January 11, 2023

The New Civil Liberties Alliance (NCLA) and the Concerned Veterans for America Foundation (CVAF) hereby petition the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to amend its regulation regarding the payment of benefits to veterans who have been adjudged eligible for disability benefits but who later return temporarily to active duty. The current regulation, 38 C.F.R. § 3.654(b)(2), denies many disabled veterans the benefits to which they are entitled under federal law. See 38 U.S.C. §§ 1131 & 5304(c). We ask that the regulation be amended to provide that when the benefits due a disabled veteran are temporarily suspended because he or she has returned to active service, the effective date of resumption of benefit payments shall be the date on which the disabled veteran is released from active service.

NCLA and CVAF bring this petition pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 553(e), which requires all federal agencies to “give an interested person the right to petition for issuance, amendment, or repeal of a rule”; and 38 U.S.C. § 501(a), which grants the VA Secretary “authority to prescribe all rules and regulations which are necessary or appropriate to carry out the laws administered by the” VA.

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