I’m working to get this information out QUICK, so sorry for the brevity.
Here’s the updated timeline – keep in mind, the Department of Justice has until the end of May 2019 to decide whether or not it will appeal Procopio to the US Supreme Court.
April 1, 2019 – BVA Chairwoman Cheryl Mason lifts the “Procopio Stay” at the Board of Veterans Appeals.
May 10, 2019 – I saw a BVA decision granting a Blue Water Navy veteran service connection based on the new rule of law in Procopio v. Wilkie.
May 15, 2019 – I have seen a copy of the VA Office of General Counsel (OGC) issues its Advisory Opinion regarding how it will begin processing Procopio issues.
- If there is sufficient evidence in your file to establish that you served in the Blue Water Navy within 12 nautical miles of the Republic of Vietnam, the BVA and VA should grant service connection for any presumptive conditions immediately.
- If there is not sufficient evidence, the BVA should remand appeals to the VA to develop that evidence.
- The VBA appears to be interested in promulgating regulations that define what evidence will be accepted as proof that a sailor served on a vessel that came within 12 nautical miles of the Republic of Vietnam.
As soon as the VA’s Office of General Counsel gives the “green light,” I will update this post with a copy of the advisory opinion.
Stay tuned for more….