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  • J. Olson

US Supreme Court Denies Retroactive Benefits to Veterans in Ruling

The United States Supreme Court issued a ruling in 2023 that sparked outrage among Veterans groups across the nation.


The Supreme Court decided unanimously to deny compensation to Veterans with disabilities stemming from service if they didn't apply "within one year of their discharge." Even if the delay occurred because of their disability.


The case revolved around former Navy Sailor Adolfo Arellano, who served from 1977 to 1981. During his time in service, Arellano was nearly swept overboard when his ship collided with a freighter. During the incident the sailor watched several of his friends get killed and has suffered PTSD and other psychological issues as a result.


He was left unable to work, and due to his illnesses he was not aware that he could have received disability compensation from the government.


It wasn't until 2011 that his brother, who became his legal guardian and caregiver, found out that Arellano was eligible for benefits. At that time, his brother filed for compensation on the sailor's behalf and requested retroactive benefits for the past 30 years.


The VA denied his request since it was not filed within one year of Arellano's discharge from the military, and said they would only give him benefits going forward.


The sailor and his brother appealed the decision, and it ultimately landed at the Supreme Court.


Now the Supreme Court has handed down their opinion, which is as follows (via Military.com):

The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously rejected a veteran's argument that his disability compensation should have been made retroactive to his date of discharge because his condition rendered him incapable of filing a claim within the required one-year window after leaving military service.
In a 9-0 opinion announced Monday, the justices rejected the arguments of Navy veteran Adolfo Arellano, saying that his case and others like it don't meet requirements for an exception from the rule that allows veterans to have their compensation backdated to the date they left service if they file within a year of separation.

A number of Veterans groups have slammed the Supreme Court's decision as a painful blow to military members who were injured while serving their country.



24 Comments


Joe Lesko
Joe Lesko
Mar 28

Trump says PIA’s and disabled vets are losers and doesn’t want to be seen with us so you honestly think he will do anything for us vets? The only thing I can guarantee he will do is provide more tax breaks for himself and his billionaire buddies.

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santos.elizabeth48
Jan 09

Vote for President Trump he should be able to clean the VA bureaucracy, Fraud, discrimination malicious act, and the Pact Act that supposed to be working are not doing anything at all the retro was not being paid at all they keep repeating the t same rating nothing has change although the presumptive illnesses has giving birth to another ailment which supposed to be call secondary to the origin caused of the disease, their evaluators in the VA are not bonafide doctors they are experienced civilian place to become evaluators. That’s the truth. You’re lucky to get one. I now because I investigate and asked to VA Clay Street in Oakland, CA 94612.

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Donn Bigelow
Donn Bigelow
Feb 14
Replying to

You think Trump is going to help you, when he says we are all loser.

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Kevin Miles
Kevin Miles
Jan 09

How many veterans serve on the Supreme Court, you ask? None

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santos.elizabeth48
Dec 16, 2023

You believed President TRump now the swamp has to be clean all the to the top to the bottom pit. Supreme Court people needs to be expelled needs needs to be change it’s CORRUPTED and the DOD did not fill in the people in our processing when a military man exiting the service that’s a lesson to everyone. So new military man start going to sick bay, sick call, report chief of complaint with health condition while in the service and yearly examination. Some changes need to address necessarily when it comes to your wellness report, documented and file within 6months- 1 year of retiring or exiting active or reserve, national guard of any branch or else your in t…

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wrmgesconti
Feb 13, 2023

This Supreme Court decision is still another example that this Court is not in sync with the American people and/or our rights as Veterans. The narrow views and make up of the Court strongly suggest a possible Constitutional amendment to reverse life time appointments and be able to remove unethical and incompetent Justices attaining position via "political means and views" rather qualifications as unbiased legal scholars. This ruling further justifies why the Nation has lost confidence and respect for the Supreme Court as an institution. Walter Reed Martindale, Navy/Army and Foreign Service Veteran


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