It is over! I want to shout it from the mountain top! However, if you are a Veteran, you might be wondering about what is going to happen to your VA disability claim? The good news for many Veterans is that we, as a law firm, did not see many issues for our clients during the Government Shutdown. The only issues we had with the VA were minor. Through the relationships we have developed with the great employees at the VA, we were able to stay in contact with the Regional Offices during the shutdown. In fact, we only had a handful of hearings that were canceled due to the shutdown, and those came the day prior to everything being resolved. In fact, the VA is treating the shutdown as such a non-issue, that there is nothing about it on the front page of their website.
According to the VA website, “During the government shutdown, VA medical centers, clinics, and other health services remained open. Due to the shutdown, VA claims processors were unable to continue working 20 hours of overtime per month to reduce the backlog of claims, overtime that has helped VA significantly reduce the disability claims backlog by more than 190,000 claims over the last six months. Mandatory overtime will resume immediately and will continue as planned through Nov. 16, at a minimum.”
With all of this being said, there will be one issue that Veterans are all too used to, delays. With only essential employees remaining in the Regional Offices; it’s safe to say a lot of stuff piled up. How long the shutdown will delay a claim is yet to be seen, but with the backlog already so far out, it may not even make a noticeable difference in the amount of time passed since a claim was filed, appealed, reopened, etc. It’s kind of like adding a power sunroof to your new car. If you are already in debt for $30,000, a $1,000 option will only cause a $4 bump in your payments per month.
The good news is that since the shutdown was resolved before the end of the month, there will be no interruption in disability payments for Veterans. If you were waiting until the shutdown ended to file benefits, give me a call today to see what our firm can do to help: 1-877-526-3457, or, fill out this form, and I will give you a call.