Nebraska war veterans may be both shocked and saddened to learn that the the Department of Veterans Affairs announced on Feb. 10 that the VA claims backlog elimination is not moving as quickly as expected. According to the Veterans Benefits Administration, the arm of the agency that administers financial assistance, the number of cases that still need to be reviewed totaled more than 398,000.
The announcement followed a significant drop in the number of cases during the fall. By November 2013, the number of cases had dropped by more than 200,000 due to the implementation of a new paperless process and overtime put in by employees. The VA had warned, however, that the number could stagnate as the overtime hours would not be allowed during the December holiday period. The VA set the goal of 2015 as the year that the backlog would be completely eliminated. However, advocates for veterans are concerned that the VA will not be able to meet their goal and worry that the administration does not have an effective system in place to deal with the backlog.
Veterans of the U.S. military are entitled to certain medical benefits in the event that they should become injured while on active duty. In addition to providing care for physical injuries that are suffered, the state of their mental health has also recently gained national interest.
While many veterans should be eligible to receive VA disability compensation, some have had to fight to receive these benefits after their claims have been denied. An attorney with experience in veterans’ affairs may be able to assist a client in pursuing a claim for benefits.
Source: Military Times, “Progress stalls on cutting VA claims backlog”, Leo Shane III , February 10, 2014.
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