Workers' Compensation

Chris T. Archer, Esquire

The Veterans Administration does not have the right to intervene in a Missouri Worker’s compensation claim. United States Department of Veterans Affairs v. Boresi, Chief Administrative Law Judge, No. 97042 (Mo. App. E.D., March 20, 2012), Romines, J.

VA attempted to intervene in a worker’s compensation claim to protects its asserted right to collect compensation for unauthorized medical treatment the VA provided a veteran. There was no dispute that the medical treatment was not authorized care by the Employer.

The ALJ denied the motion to intervene. VA sought writ of mandamus which was denied by the circuit court. On appeal of that order, the court affirmed the denial of the motion stating that the VA did not have a right to intervene consistent with Chapter 287. 38 U.S.C. § 1729(a)(1) provides that the United States “has the right to recover or collect reasonable charge for such care or services from a third party to the extent that the veteran…would be eligible to receive payment for such care or services from such third party…” The court found that the claimant had no right to collect payment for the admitted unauthorized treatment the claimant received at the VA facility and therefore the VA had no right to intervene.