Many changes have been made in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs concerning how claims of veterans are being handled after studies revealed that an increasing number of claims were presenting multiple medical issues, leading to a significant number of complex cases being handled incorrectly. While recent improvements have been noted, an audit by the agency’s inspector general shows there are still mistakes being made. As a result, veterans’ disability claims and their corresponding right to care and benefits are coming under increased scrutiny.
Traumatic brain injury cases were one of the areas showing the lowest percentages of accuracy in diagnosis, and due to the nature of the injury have the least permissible margin of error. The audit found that errors in these claims affected not only the claimant’s treatment, but could have long range effects on the benefits the veteran was eligible for. Many of the mistakes in these claims were attributed to insufficient medical testing being carried out.
The agency believes some of the error figures are due to differing methods of calculation. A spokesperson for its benefits administration arm said that it is more concerned with whether the decision on the claim was actually correct, while the inspector general focuses on strict adherence to policy.
Veterans who fought for our country do not need further roadblocks to medical care in their lives. Those who have a medically identifiable physical condition may be eligible for benefits and may wish to consult with an attorney who has experience in assisting those who wish to file claims.
Source: Federal News Radio, “VA struggles with accuracy as disability claims get more complex“, Jared Serbu, December 06, 2013.
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