AZ v. Shinseki held that the Department of Veterans Affairs could not treat the absence of military documentation of an in-service sexual assault as proof that the assault never occurred. Nor can the Department of Veterans Affairs assert that a veteran’s decision not to report an instance of sexual trauma to military authorities is proof that the assault did not occur. A veteran’s submission of testimonial lay evidence can supplant the lack of report. This holding aligns with the Department of Veterans Affairs’ duty to consider all evidence in the file and to maximize benefits for the veteran.
"Believing Survivors: In Veterans Affairs Benefits Claims, No In-Service Report is Required to Prove an Instance of Military Sexual Trauma,"
Marquette Benefits and Social Welfare Law Review: Vol. 20:
2, Article 2.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.marquette.edu/benefits/vol20/iss2/2