Disability Backlog Spurs Frustration

A number of our posts have been about the backlog in disability claims. Despite promises to cure the glut in claims, more than 850,000 petitions remain unanswered going into the New Year. In January 2012, the Veterans Administration (VA) had promised to reduce the processing time on claims, which stood at 188 days. As we begin 2013, it appears to have gotten worse. The estimated processing time is now 262 days.

Our continued research led us to a YouTube video entitled “The VA Does Not Care.” It was created by Lindsay Dove, the husband of a former Marine who has become totally disabled. The VA initially rated him as partially disabled, but he soon found that he could not work at all. Dove helped him submit another claim in 2011 to increase his disability benefits, but it has yet to be resolved.

She made the video in September 2012 and expressed frustration with how slow the process was, and how it was completely dysfunctional, even though he had submitted all the required documentation required for the claim. The VA produced its own video in October, expressing sympathy with disabled veterans and their families and promising to do what it can to lessen wait times.

Dove took to YouTube again in November, showing an updated status of her husband’s claim. This time, the estimated completion date was between October 2013 and May 2014. While this is an unfortunate and unacceptable situation, we believe that having an attorney involved could expedite the process.

Source: NPR.org, For veterans, the wait for disability claims grows longer, December 27, 2012.