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Court Wins

CCK argues Board erred in denying adapted housing benefits

May 18, 2017

CCK recently argued a case before a panel of three judges at the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims in Washington D.C. regarding specially adapted housing benefits:

The issue in this case is whether the Veteran is eligible for specially adapted housing benefits.  CCK argued that the Veteran meets the criteria for adapted housing because he is precluded from locomotion without the use of a cane.  The Board denied benefits for adapted housing because it found that although the Veteran was precluded from locomotion under the statute, he did not have “loss of use” of both lower extremities.  CCK argued that in making this finding, the Board used the wrong standard of “loss of use.”  The Board applied a standard found in an entirely different regulation – Special Monthly Compensation (SMC).

SMC is a type of disability compensation.  In contrast, specially adapted housing benefits enable disabled veterans to live comfortably in their homes and move about safely.  Congress specifically articulated the definition for loss of use in the adapted housing statute as “preclusion of locomotion” without certain assistive devices.  Because these are two distinct statutory benefits with different purposes, it does not make sense to use the same definition for loss of use.

Because the Veteran meets all the requirements for eligibility for adapted housing, CCK requested that the Court reverse the Board’s decision to the contrary, and remand with instructions for the Board to grant eligibility.

To listen to the oral argument in this case about specially adapted housing benefits, click here.