Veterans may use class actions to challenge Department of Veterans Affairs policies including denials and delays in benefits, the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims held for the first time Aug. 23.

The ruling is “a watershed decision” that represents a “seismic shift in our precedent,” Chief Judge Robert N. Davis said.

All eight judges, across four different opinions, agreed that classwide resolution of veterans’ claims will promote fairness and efficiency for an agency that is notorious for backlogs.

But the judges were evenly divided on whether class certification was appropriate in this case, which involved allegations of widespread delays...