Veteran's Law Group Glossary of Terms

Term Section: C

Co pay Exempt

Nonservice-connected and noncompensable 0% service-connected veterans subject to a financial assessment who are found to be below the established threshold do not have to pay a portion of the actual cost of their health care.

Co-payment Required

Nonservice-connected and noncompensable 0% service-connected veterans whose financial assessment finds them above the established threshold are responsible to pay a portion of the actual cost of their health care.

Committee for Research of Unit Records

Administered by the Army, Department of Defense repository of Vietnam military unit records originally compiled to document exposure of U.S. military units to Agent Orange in Vietnam. The function of the office has evolved to conduct research of military records to verify stressor events on behalf of veterans who file claims for service connection of post-traumatic stress disorder.


Monthly payments made by the VA to a veteran because of a service-connected disability.


Counsel and Associate Counsel are attorneys skilled in veterans' law who assist.

Countable Income

Almost any kind of payment from any source received during the twelve-month annualization period, with some exceptions.

Court Appeals for Veterans Claims

An independent United States Administrative Court that reviews appeals of BVA decisions. It is very rare for the Court to grant service-connection/benefits – in most cases a successful decision is a Remand.

Term Section: D

Date of Receipt

The date on which a claim, information, or evidence was received in the Department of Veterans Affairs, except as to specific provisions for claims or evidence received in the State Department or in the Social Security Administration of Department of Defense as to initial claims filed at or prior to separation.

De Novo Review

A decision makers reviewing of a claim for the first time or without giving any deference to a previous decision makers determination of the same claim.

Death Compensation

Benefits paid to the spouse or dependent children of a deceased veteran based on a period of wartime service by the veteran. Income limitations and net worth are factors in this benefit.


The final product of the BVA's review of the appeal. Possible decisions are to grant or deny the benefit sought or to remand the case back to the AOJ for additional action.

Dependency and Indemnity Compensation

Benefits paid to a spouse, dependent children, or dependent parents of a veteran who dies of a service-connected disability or who is rated totally disabled because of service-connected condition for a period of ten years or more.


A decision on a claim made at the AOJ. (Local Regional Office).


Separation including retirement from the active military, naval, or air service.


A listing of appeals that have been filed with the BVA. Appeals are listed in numerical order, called docket number order, based on when a VA Form 9 is received by VA.

Docket Number

The number assigned to an appeal when a VA Form 9 is received by VA. By law, cases are reviewed by the Board in docket number order.

Term Section: E

Effective Date

The date as of which the VA calculates its decision to grant, increase, reduce, suspend, or terminate benefits. The general rule for establishing the effective date for any award is either (A) the date the VA received the claim, or (B) the date that entitlement to the benefit arose, whichever is later. 38 U.S.C. § 5110(a); 38 C.F.R. § 3.400 (2001).


Records, documents, exhibit, or any probative material introduced to support your claim.

Term Section: F

Fair Preponderance

Evidence that must be sufficient to prove that the evidence against the veteran's claim outweighs that evidence offered in support of the claim.


To submit in writing.

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Veterans Benefits Claims Process

Checklists and general guidelines for the Standard Claims Process, and Claim Appeals Process.

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