Federal investigators with the Government Accountability Office recently discovered dozens of cases where the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) failed to compensate eligible uninsured and disabled veterans for emergency hospital costs. The errors, officials state, could possibly alert regulators to larger problems with the VA and its compensation programs.
Under current VA guidelines and a law known as the Millennium Act, the Department of Veterans Affairs is required to reimburse non-VA hospitals that provide emergency services to disabled veterans. This may include emergency room fees relating to treatment for car accident injuries and other similar situations. Coverage applies to veterans who are uninsured, enrolled in VA health care, and have recently received treatment at a VA hospital. Additionally, federal law states that emergency health costs must be covered by the VA even if injuries or illnesses do not relate to a veteran’s service-connected disability.
When analyzing a sample of claims filed by non-VA hospitals that were denied reimbursement, federal officials determined that half contained mistakes made by the VA. According to the Government Accountability Office, this raises a red flag that other similar mistakes are being made throughout the country. In cases where the VA does not cover emergency health costs, non-VA hospitals often bill uninsured veterans directly, which can create tremendous financial burdens.
The Complexities of VA Disability Claims & Compensation
Veterans disability claims are notorious for being complex, particularly because VA regulations span more than 2,000 pages and often because the hazy VA system has a tendency to be a bureaucratic nightmare. Although these challenges do exist, they can be more easily navigated with the assistance of experienced veterans disability attorneys.
At George Sink, P.A., Injury Lawyers, our legal team is committed to helping South Carolinians – including disabled veterans – obtain the compensation and benefits they deserve as quickly as possible. If you or someone you know is looking to file a veterans disability claim or appeal a denial, our firm can help. Call 888-612-7001 for a FREE case review.
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