July 25, 2012
The federal government has increased manpower in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in order to focus on finding solutions for several major problems in the Veterans Disability Benefits program. However, their efforts have been overshadowed by a growing mass of claims. An article published by The Star-Tribune details some issues plaguing returning veterans’ claims.
Perhaps the biggest issue is the lack of manpower to process the hundreds of claims made each day. The President has lauded the agency for processing one million claims over the past two years, which was the most ever processed in that timeframe. Nevertheless, the VA received an estimated 1.2 million new claims each of those years. Today, around 560,000 claims have been pending for more than a year.
With the amount time put into processing new claims, the inspector general found that little was being done to review denials and appeals. Additionally, the VA was not following policy and procedure while processing older claims.
Another major issue involves claims for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). While the VA has a goal of performing a full evaluation on these patients within 14 days, investigators found that nearly half of the veterans seeking mental healthcare waited about 50 days before getting an evaluation.
The Colorado Personal Injury Lawyers with the McDivitt Law Firm would encourage any veteran having to file a claim for disability benefits to discuss your case with an experienced and knowledgeable attorney.