Supreme Court Wrestles With Time Limit On Veterans’ Benefits

The U.S. Supreme Court is wrestling with the question of whether to enforce an appeals deadline for benefits for military veterans who may be mentally or physically challenged.

(File photo)

WASHINGTON (December 6, 2010)—The U.S. Supreme Court heard an appeal Monday in a case involving whether to enforce an appeals deadline on benefits for military veterans who may be physically or mentally challenged.

The case involves veteran David Henderson, who was discharged from the military in 1952 after he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.

In 2001, he asked the Veterans Affair Department for home care, but the application was denied.

He then missed a 120-day deadline for appeal by 15 days, which he blamed on his illness.

A veterans court and federal appeals court refused to let him appeal, but his lawyer says not allowing the appeals mean veterans are treated worse than any other litigants in the court system.

The government argues, however, that Congress did not attach any exceptions to the time limit.

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