Ideally, veterans who became disabled while fighting for the peace of the nation should receive their disability benefits quickly and conveniently. However, this world is not ideal; if it was, wars wouldn’t have happened in the first place. Disabled veterans face different kinds of roadblocks when making their claims. Some get denied and many get delayed. Here, you’ll find some of the most common issues encountered by veterans making a benefit claim.
Delays (That Extend Over Months, Even Years)
In its Veterans Benefits Administration Reports, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) records over 380,000 pending claims. The conditions have actually improved now, compared to over 800,000 pending cases a few years back. That’s still hundreds of thousands of cases, though. All these pending claims lead to another problem – backlog. Then, you have new cases being filed every day. Most claimants have to wait a long time before a decision is made.
The sheer number of pending claims is not the only factor that creates backlog. Error rate also contributes a great deal to the problems. Back in 2012, U.S. Medicine reported that the accuracy rate was only about 84 percent, and the goal of the VA was to raise that number to 98 percent. Now, VA reports that the 3-month issue-level accuracy and 12-month issue-level accuracy is at around 96 percent. Again, the conditions have improved but still isn’t quite at the goal.
The VA takes time in evaluating claims because it has to deal with fraudulent claims. The benefits must be given to those who actually deserve it, after all. Now, to err is human, and the people at VA sometimes get it wrong. Claimants who actually have an authentic claim may still get denied. Hiring a veterans disability attorney, therefore, is useful for when you need to appeal such an unjust decision. Keep in mind, though, that you may hire an attorney prior to being denied.
Circumventing the Obstacles
The government is putting efforts into having the claims processed faster and more accurately, and they seem to be improving. As you can see, however, they are still far from perfect. So, there’s still a chance you’ll encounter the obstacles mentioned above. In this matter, assistance from a disability benefits attorney, such as Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law, will be significant. Veterans disability attorneys are closely familiar and updated with the process, and can help you with documents and other things you need to prepare for the claim.
(Veterans Benefits Administration Reports, U.S. Department of veterans Affairs, undated)
(VA Claims Backlog Also Caused By High Error Rate, Not Only Processing Speed, U.S. Medicine, June 2012)