The Department of Veterans Affairs plans to outsource all compensation and pension examinations, eliminating its in-house C&P exam program. Any Veteran who has applied for disability compensation has likely underwent a compensation and pension examination, and the new plan would completely erase the VA’s in-house examinations. In an effort to reduce the large backlog of disability claims, the VA would contract with the private sector for all exams moving forward.
The main purpose of the proposed change would be to reduce the large VA claim backlog currently at the VA. Typically, VA exams are the first experience a Veteran has with the VA. The move to private doctors could help Veterans schedule appointments quicker.
The department has noted that the move could make it easer for Veterans who live in remote areas to be seen, which is a big problem in lower population places like Nebraska, which only has 3 VA health care centers throughout the state. The VA also believes the change could speed up payouts for Veterans.
An official at the VA, Beth Murphy, also believes the switch could prove beneficial due to the expected increase in the number of exams Veterans request. Murphy believes the number of exams could go up more next year, increasing from about 1.5 million in 2015 to an expected 1.9 million in 2021.
Many Veterans and individuals working with the VA foresee problems associated with the change. First off, employees at the VA would lose their jobs due to outsourcing. More importantly, the reorganization could lead to a reduction in quality at the exams.
According to Rep. Elaine Luria, D-VA, the plan was developed without noticing congress. She goes on to explain, “For many veterans, thorough and accurate C&P examinations are crucial to securing service-connected benefits.” She continued, “(The) VA’s quiet decision to carry out a major reorganization of its C&P program without a plan to make key improvements, reduce backlog, or retain employees is unlikely to deliver the high-quality results we expect.”
Although the change will be significant, many Veterans we work with already pursue private medical opinions. In fact, we often recommend our clients get a private medical opinion for their claim. To learn more about private medical opinions, click here. However, we do not know what the potential problems accompany the change until it is implemented.
Berry Law is America’s Veterans Law Firm, and your fire support team to battle the VA. Berry Law has helped tens of thousands of Veterans successfully appeal unfavorable VA decisions to get all the disability benefits they earned. Founded by a Vietnam Veteran with attorneys from the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps, Berry Law is well equipped to help you fight for the VA disability compensation you earned. If you need assistance appealing a VA decision, contact Berry Law today and schedule a free case evaluation.
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