Wolfe v. Wilkie
Sidley achieved a major pro bono victory when the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC) ruled that a 2018 regulation issued by the VA violates a federal law that requires the VA to reimburse veterans for emergency medical expenses incurred at non-VA facilities that are not covered by the veteran’s private insurance. Additionally, the CAVC certified the case as a class action, only the second class certified in CAVC history. The court ordered the VA to reimburse veterans for all of their past and future out-of-pocket emergency medical expenses not covered by the veteran’s private insurance other than copayments. The decision requires the VA to pay an estimated $1.8–$6.5 billion in reimbursements to more than 600,000 veterans with claims filed or pending between 2016 and 2025. Sidley and the National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP) filed the class action petition on behalf of two veterans, Amanda Wolfe and Peter Boerschinger. Ms. Wolfe is a veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard who served for six years, with postings in Washington and Michigan, as well as service during Hurricane Katrina response and recovery. Mr. Boerschinger is a veteran of the U.S. Navy who served for four years.  “The Court’s decision rights a terrible injustice and its order ensures that veterans who were unjustly denied reimbursement for critical emergency treatment at non-VA facilities will finally be reimbursed,” said NVLSP Executive Director Bart Stichman. “It is a hard-won victory for hundreds of thousands of veterans … for whom reimbursement is long overdue.”
Veterans Advocacy Project / Wolfe v. Wilkie