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At Least as Likely As Not Definition

When it comes to legal systems, each has its own standard of proof. In the VA system, the standard of proof is “at least as likely as not”. In the criminal context, the standard is “beyond a reasonable doubt,” and in civil lawsuits, the standard is either “clear and convincing evidence” or “the preponderance of the evidence.” These are higher standards than VA’s “at least as likely as not” standard.

In contrast with “beyond a reasonable doubt,” the VA’s standard of “at least as likely as not” is a much less stringent burden for veterans. The “at least as likely as not” standard is part of the non-adversarial nature of the VA disability claims process. For claims for VA disability benefits, veterans do not need to prove conclusively that they are entitled to a certain benefit, only that the evidence shows that there is at least a 50 percent likelihood that they are entitled to the benefit they are seeking.