Backlog for Vet's Benefits Shrinking

Veterans may be interested to know that the Obama administration has the VA backlog shrinking, successfully decreasing the amount of applications for disability by 20 percent. The President doesn’t feel that it’s enough and has vowed to continue the push to reduce the wait for VA disability compensation. There are also plans to improve job training opportunities and health benefits.

One of the improvements to be made to veteran’s health care is an effort to treat PTSD and reduce the number of veteran suicides. Under the new plan, which also includes funds for research on traumatic brain injuries, Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Texas will receive $100 million in funds from the Defense Department and the Veteran’s Administration to study the link between mental health and traumatic brain injury. There’s also another program that will team up with 250 educational institutions to help combat veterans to complete their degree programs.

Increasing Claim Wait Times

Veterans filing a first claim can wait up to 367 days; in larger cities the wait can be nearly two years. The wait times began to skyrocket with the return of troops from Afghanistan and Iraq. In 2001, the VA completed about 480,000 claims. By 2003, the number had reached 827,000; the years 2010, 2011 and 2012 saw more than 1 million claims each year.

If a soldier has returned home and needs help with injuries or educational opportunities, but faces a long wait, a veterans affairs attorney may be able to help. An attorney could file the correct paperwork to begin the process of receiving help in a timely manner.

Source: CNN, “Obama says backlog reduced in veterans’ disability claims“, Michael Martinez, August 10, 2013