B-154696, OCT. 22, 1964

B-154696: Oct 22, 1964

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JOSEPH LEIB: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTERS OF SEPTEMBER 4 AND 15. EXAMINE THE RECORDS IN SUCH OF THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION FILES AS WERE AVAILABLE TO US AND AFFORDED YOU AN OPPORTUNITY TO PRESENT YOUR VIEWS AND FURNISH ADDITIONAL INFORMATION PERTAINING TO THE MATTER. OUR REVIEW OF THIS CASE INDICATED THAT THE ADMINISTRATIVE DECISION IS SUPPORTED BY SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE TO PRECLUDE A CONCLUSION THAT THE DECISION IS IN ERROR.'. YOU ASK THAT WE RECONSIDER THAT STATEMENT IN THE REPORT WHICH YOU SAY UPHOLDS THE "MONSTROUS DECISION MADE BY THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION" ALLEGING THAT YOU WERE NOT INJURED IN THE SERVICE. AMONG THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION RECORDS EXAMINED BY US WAS A COPY OF THE DECISION OF THE BOARD OF VETERANS APPEALS DATED AUGUST 14.

B-154696, OCT. 22, 1964

TO MR. JOSEPH LEIB:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTERS OF SEPTEMBER 4 AND 15, 1964, WITH ENCLOSURES, CONCERNING A REPORT DATED AUGUST 31, 1964, BY OUR OFFICE TO THE HONORABLE JOHN LESINSKI, MEMBER OF CONGRESS, ON YOUR CLAIM FOR DISABILITY COMPENSATION FROM THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION.

IN OUR REPORT TO REPRESENTATIVE LESINSKI, WE POINTED OUT THAT UNDER APPLICABLE STATUTORY PROVISIONS (38 U.S.C. 211 (A) ( AS APPLIED BY THE COURTS, NEITHER THIS OFFICE NOR A COURT HAS ANY AUTHORITY TO REVIEW THE ACTION TAKEN BY THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION ON ANY CLAIM FOR PENSION OR DISABILITY COMPENSATION. WE DID, HOWEVER, EXAMINE THE RECORDS IN SUCH OF THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION FILES AS WERE AVAILABLE TO US AND AFFORDED YOU AN OPPORTUNITY TO PRESENT YOUR VIEWS AND FURNISH ADDITIONAL INFORMATION PERTAINING TO THE MATTER.

IN OUR REPORT WE REVIEWED BRIEFLY THE ACTIONS TAKEN BY THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION IN YOUR CASE--- AN AWARD OF COMPENSATION IN 1946, THE DISCONTINUANCE OF THAT AWARD IN 1961 AND 2 DECISIONS OF THE BOARD OF VETERANS APPEALS UPHOLDING THE DISCONTINUANCE ACTION--- AND THE REASONS FOR SUCH ACTIONS, AND WE COMMENTED THAT---

"WITHOUT CONSIDERATION OF THE FINALITY OF AGENCY ACTION ON THE MATTER, OUR REVIEW OF THIS CASE INDICATED THAT THE ADMINISTRATIVE DECISION IS SUPPORTED BY SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE TO PRECLUDE A CONCLUSION THAT THE DECISION IS IN ERROR.'

IN YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 4, 1964, YOU ASK THAT WE RECONSIDER THAT STATEMENT IN THE REPORT WHICH YOU SAY UPHOLDS THE "MONSTROUS DECISION MADE BY THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION" ALLEGING THAT YOU WERE NOT INJURED IN THE SERVICE. AS A BASIS FOR THIS REQUEST, YOU SUBMITTED WITH YOUR LETTER COPIES OF 10 DOCUMENTS RELATING TO YOUR PHYSICAL CONDITION AND CORRESPONDENCE WITH THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION IN THE CONSIDERATION OF YOUR CASE. ALSO, BY LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 15, 1964, YOU SUBMITTED COPIES OF 4 DOCUMENTS RELATING TO THE PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS FOR INDUCTION AND THE TRAINING PROGRAM FOR NEW INDUCTEES WHICH YOU SAY SUPPORT YOUR CONTENTION THAT A CONCLUSION THAT YOU SUFFERED INJURY IN THE SERVICE WOULD BE PROPER.

AMONG THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION RECORDS EXAMINED BY US WAS A COPY OF THE DECISION OF THE BOARD OF VETERANS APPEALS DATED AUGUST 14, 1962, ON YOUR CASE. THIS DECISION CONTAINS A DETAILED REPORT OF THE FACTS DEVELOPED IN THE HEARINGS ON YOUR CASE INCLUDING MATERIAL IN THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION FILES AND YOUR MEDICAL HISTORY AND INDICATES THAT YOU PRESENTED TO THE BOARD SUBSTANTIALLY THE SAME EVIDENCE AND CONTENTIONS ON WHICH YOU NOW RELY. THE BOARD'S DECISION IS ADVERSE TO YOU, AND WHILE YOU FEEL STRONGLY THAT THE BOARD DID NOT GIVE PROPER WEIGHT TO YOUR EVIDENCE IN ARRIVING AT ITS DECISION, THIS IS A MATTER ENTIRELY WITHIN THE DISCRETION AND JURISDICTION OF THE BOARD AND THE ADMINISTRATOR OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS. OUR OFFICE IS PRECLUDED BY STATUTE FROM REVISING THE ACTION OF THE BOARD OR MAKING ANY AUTHORITATIVE DETERMINATION THAT THE ACTION OF THE BOARD WAS NOT THE PROPER ACTION IN THIS CASE.

THE QUOTED STATEMENT OF OUR VIEWS AS TO THE CORRECTNESS OF THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION ACTION ON YOUR CASE WAS BASED UPON THE FACTUAL RECORDS AVAILABLE TO US AND THE RECITALS IN THE DECISION OF THE BOARD OF VETERANS APPEALS AND, AS INDICATED IN THAT STATEMENT, ON SUCH RECORDS WE COULD FIND NO REASONABLE BASIS FOR DISAGREEMENT WITH THE ACTION OF THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION IN YOUR CASE. SUCH STATEMENT, OF COURSE, HAD REFERENCE ONLY TO OUR CONCLUSION IN THE MATTER AND WAS NOT INTENDED TO IMPLY THAT THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION MAY NOT PROPERLY TAKE SUCH SUBSEQUENT ACTION AS IT MAY DEEM APPROPRIATE IN YOUR CASE. IN THE LIGHT OF YOUR APPARENT MISUNDERSTANDING AS TO THE APPLICATION OF SUCH COMMENT, WE SHOULD HAVE INCLUDED AFTER THE TERM "CONCLUSION" THE WORDS "BY OUR OFFICE.' SINCE, HOWEVER, REPRESENTATIVE LESINSKI'S REQUEST WAS ADDRESSED TO US AND AS WE HAD EMPHASIZED OUR LACK OF JURISDICTION IN THE MATTER, WE BELIEVED THAT OUR COMMENT WOULD BE SO UNDERSTOOD WITHOUT THE NEED FOR ADDITIONAL CLARIFICATION.

SINCE, AS EXPLAINED IN THE REPORT TO REPRESENTATIVE LESINSKI, YOUR CLAIM FOR DISABILITY COMPENSATION IS A MATTER ENTIRELY WITHIN THE JURISDICTION OF THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION, SUCH FURTHER ACTION AS YOU MAY CARE TO TAKE IN THAT REGARD SHOULD BE DIRECTED TO THE ADMINISTRATOR OF VETERANS AFFAIRS.

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