Jim Rudisill is a wartime Army vet who is now an FBI agent in Richmond. Eight years ago, he wanted to get a divinity degree from Yale and minister to other wartime vets. But the Veterans Administration dashed that dream when it denied his application for benefits.

Now Tim McHugh at the law firm Troutman Pepper is part of a legal team handling the case pro bono. "Mr. Rudisil is like many other veterans of this generation and frankly like those of the post-9/11 era who have served their country in war. He in many ways is fighting this fight not just for himself but for his brother and sister veterans," McHugh says.

At issue is how benefits are calculated. David DePippo is a lawyer with Dominion Energy working on the case who says the VA is insisting that the less generous peacetime benefits are exhausted before more generous wartime benefits kick in. "It is the difference between getting $2,000 a month or $24,000 a year and a full ride to college," according to DePippo.

Misha Tseytlin, also at Troutman Pepper, says this case has widespread ramifications worth billions of dollars in benefits. "The Supreme Court's decision here may well be the most consequential veterans benefits decision the Supreme Court issues in living memory."

Justices are expected to hear oral arguments this fall.