The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals ruled this week that the Department of Veterans Affairs may not extend a stay on claims from Navy veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange while aboard ship during the Vietnam War.
The court would not immediately lift the stay, but said that the stay could not be extended beyond Jan. 1, according to Military Veterans Advocacy.
As a result, up to 90,000 veterans covered under the Procopio v. Wilkie decision earlier this year and HR 299, the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act, can start having their claims processed in a few weeks.
“This is a great win,” said Col. Rob Maness (USAF, Ret.) in an MVA statement. “The court told the government in no uncertain terms that there is no authority to stay anything past January 1. The jurisdictional finding will also be important in future cases. We thank the Court for the quick response and insightful analysis.”