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Mulder v. McDonald

03/11/2016

Mulder v. McDonald, 805 F.3d 1342 (November 12, 2015)
38 U.S.C. § 5313(a)(1); REDUCTION OF BENEFITS, INCARCERATION
HELD: This case affirms the CAVC’s opinion in Mulder v. Gibson, 27 Vet.App. 10 (2014), holding that the proper effective date for the reduction of benefits for veterans incarcerated for the conviction of a felony is the date of conviction, not the date of sentencing.  

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    Incarcerated veteran argued that his VA benefits should not have been reduced until after sentencing because, up until that point, he was being held only because he could not post bail. The Federal Circuit agreed with the CAVC that his conviction started on the date that he pleaded no contest, was found guilty, and the judgment of conviction was entered on the record; and that VA was correct to reduce benefits based on the 61st day of incarceration following that plea/conviction. The Federal Circuit relied on its prior holding in Wilson v. Gibson, 753 F.3d 1363 (Fed. Cir. 2014), the Supreme Court’s equation of a guilty plea with conviction, the plain language of the statute, and its legislative history to support its determination.

Category: Veterans’ Law