Veterans Affairs Secretary Bob McDonald has asked lawmakers for a massive overhaul of the veterans benefits appeals process, which he admits is failing our nation’s veterans. In a statement to House lawmakers and the press, McDonald has called his department’s process “clunky,” “cumbersome,” and “antiquated,” no longer serving veterans in a practical way.
As many veterans are acutely aware, the process can be seemingly endless and confusing; causing frustration at the length of time it takes to receive an answer. Cases that should take a few months to resolve have stretched into several years.
McDonald has called the current wait times “unacceptable,” and is calling for a new appeals process “with the timely and fair appeals decisions veterans deserve, and adequate resourcing.” He estimates that with lawmakers’ help, the VA could reduce the processing time for appeals cases by 2020. Currently, the average wait time for appeals cases is three years.
Solving the Problem
Over the past three years, the VA has been working to clear the backlog of first-time benefit applications after intense public scrutiny over the inefficiency of the system. While they have reduced the number of backlogged cases to 80,000 from 612,000, the VA has missed their goal of completely clearing it by the end of 2015. During this same time, the number of appeals cases has risen by more than 33 percent, totaling 440,000 cases.
Legislators are already working to reform the broken appeals process, which is expected to be introduced soon. Getting the overhaul plan through Congress in an election year will present significant challenges, but it is possible. It is our hope that legislators can work quickly and efficiently to resolve this problem as soon as possible so that our veterans can finally receive the benefits they are entitled to for their brave service.
We Fight for Veterans – Call Our Firm Today!
George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers has built a reputation as one of the most trusted and respected injury and disability firm. We believe that those who have bravely sacrificed in the service of our country should be treated with respect, and this means providing access to benefits in an efficient and timely manner. If you are a disabled veteran seeking benefits from the VA, please contact a veterans disability attorney to discuss your case for free. Our lawyers are available to guide you through the claims filing or appeals process by gathering appropriate documentation and filling out and submitting all forms. When everything is completed correctly the first time, it is less likely that there will be an issue with your claim. Our goal is to help disabled veterans get ALL of the disability benefits they deserve.