Benefit of the Doubt Doctrine Definition
VA’s Benefit of the Doubt doctrine is a statutory and regulatory example of the non-adversarial nature of the VA disability claims process. The Benefit of the Doubt doctrine is outlined in 38 USC § 5107(b) and 38 CFR § 3.102. Specifically, it states, “by reasonable doubt is meant one which exists because of an approximate balance of positive and negative evidence which does not satisfactorily prove or disprove the claim.” This is further established in 38 CFR § 4.3, which states, “When doubt arises regarding the degree of disability such doubt will be resolved in favor of the claimant.” Essentially, when it comes to a balance of evidence, the tie is supposed to go to the veteran.
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