According to President Barack Obama, the backlog of over 600,000 veterans’ disability claims is now down to 496,000; a 20 percent decrease in less than 5 months. This significant reduction in backlogged claims can be attributed to aggressive measures taken by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Administration officials have required claims processors to work overtime, and have computerized and automated their systems to help speed up the claims process.
A claim is considered “backlogged” if it has been in the system for more than 125 days, but many disabled veterans have been waiting years for their claims to be approved. The number of disability claims increased after President Obama made it much easier for veterans to claim disability benefits for health issues related to Agent Orange, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), malaria, West Nile virus, and other infectious diseases.
While the number of backlogged disability claims is finally shrinking, there is still a lot of work to be done for the backup to be eliminated by 2015 as promised by VA Secretary Eric Shinseki. After years of military service, veterans should not have to wait any longer to access the VA benefits they have earned. Additionally, disabled veterans should have access to the proper healthcare they deserve. Congress aims to address issues concerning patient care and safety for veterans in the coming months.
The backlog of veterans’ disability claims proves that the approval process can be lengthy and complex, with overwhelming amounts of paperwork. If you or a loved one need help filing for disability benefits, contact the experienced legal team at George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers for a free consultation.