Veterans Benefits And Insurance Claims

Grand Prairie insurance attorneys need to know how subrogation and liens work as it relates to insurance claims. One of these interests to be aware of is the Veterans Administration rights to recover money they spend on behalf of their members.
The reimbursement rights of the Veterans’ Administration are statutory, and are set forth the United States 4th Circuit Court of Appeals case styled, United States v. Maryland. It is a 1990 case. It says that “Federal law pertaining to veterans benefits places the United States on an equal footing with private hospitals in its attempts to recover from third parties the cost of medical services provided veterans for non-service related injuries.” Such equality is ensured by 38 U.S.C. Section 629(a)(1), which provides:
“In any case in which a veteran is furnished care or services under this chapter for a non-service connected disability … the United States has the right to recover or collect the reasonable cost of such care or services … from a third party to the extent that the veteran (or the provider of the care or services) would be eligible to receive payment for such care or services from such third party if the care or services had not been furnished by a department or agency of the United States.”
This statute defines third parties to include health care providers, employers, automobile insurance carriers, and “a State or political subdivision of a State.” This is 38 U.S.C. Section 629(i)(3).
Here is something that needs to be realized not only by attorneys who do this type of work (hopefully they already know) but also people who try to represent themselves or help a relative or friend who has a claim. The writer of this Blog sees all too often, situations where a person tries to submit a claim on their own. Their attitude is that they don’t want to get an attorney involved because of the cost or maybe the fear of getting involved in litigation. Other times, a person feels the insurance company is treating them fairly and thus see no need to involve an attorney.
Here is the fallacy. There are simply too many mine fields related to liens and subrogation interests that can rear their heads and cause financial harm to the person who attempts to resolve these matters without the assistance of an attorney. This writer gets at least one phone call a month, or more, from someone who has got themselves into legal trouble for the issues related to liens and subrogation interest. BEWARE!

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