Proving a service connection to receive VA benefits is one of the more difficult parts of applying for those benefits.
Many veterans applying for VA disability benefits are denied if the VA rater assigned to review their case is not able to make a service connection to their injury or condition.
Yet raters can make mistakes and when a veteran feels a mistake has been made, they can try to open a Clear and Unmistakable Error or CUE case to have the issue re-considered.
What Is Considered a Clear and Unmistakable Error?
A clear and unmistakable error or CUE is what a veteran dissatisfied with a rating denial hopes to prove when seeking a re-consideration of their VA disability benefits claim.
These cases are permissible when veterans believe their rater omitted details on their medical record or other proof of their condition or its connection to service duty.
If the veteran can prove that the rater’s decision is incorrect and that incorrect decision resulted in their denial of VA benefits, their service connection could still be established and the veteran could be approved for disability benefits.
The Difficulty of Proving A CUE Case
The issue with CUE cases is that proving the error is extremely challenging.
Finding an “unmistakable” error in the rater’s decision that an adjudicator would also consider unmistakable itself is difficult.
Beyond that, arguments for CUE can only be based on whatever information was available to the rater at the time the VA benefits claim was initially reviewed and rejected.
New medical records and other new details that were not available at that time, even if they today establish a connection, are of no value.
Problems In Getting Prior Rating Information Evidence
When attempting to prove a clear and unmistakable error, the veteran can only do so with the information and judgment used by their rater at that time and getting such information to review can be equally challenging.
In addition according to VA benefits help experts, information that was held by the VA but not available to the rater at the time of the denial that could have proven connection had it been available is another concern that anyone filing a CUE case must consider and find a way to access.
What can a veteran claiming VA disability benefits do in these instances when CUE cases might be valid?
Between the challenge of getting information from the VA on which to base a CUE case, the rules on what information is and is not permissible, and the many other small details that can influence the veteran’s ability to prove CUE, the best recommendation is to seek VA benefits help from an experienced rating expert outside of the organization.
Proving CUE is one of the hardest things for any veteran with a verifiable service-connected disability who has been denied a claim to do.
VA benefits help experts with the knowledge and awareness of which information is required to prove CUE and where it can be accessed can help.