Poised for Eliminating the Backlog?
VA Disability Lawyer
VA claims it is at a tipping point in breaking the back of the department’s massive claims backlog.
VA maintains this because it is done with the so-called Nehmer review ordered by the Federal Court. That was a review of Agent Orange disability claims generally for added presumptive claims that overwhelmed the system for two years. Nearly 230,000 of those cases have been reviewed and finalized, and officials said fewer than 500 open cases remain.
The VA reports that 37% of the department’s rating staff dealt solely with these Agent Orange cases. With the work finished, about 1,200 claims processors will begin dealing with the overall disability and pensions backlog.
More than 911,000 claims remain unprocessed, down from more than 1.4 million last year, but still up 60% from when the Agent Orange claims push started two years ago. About two-thirds of those cases have been pending for more than 125 days, despite department promises to deal with them quickly.
The manpower can now be deployed on the backlog. These raters have more experience than when the Nehmer review started. Many in Congress are skeptical and have heard this claim that VA is getting its arms around the backlog before. What else can VA say? Veterans simply want this proven. It is hard to be optimistic when the mail is not being filed in VA Regional Offices or claim status reports tell you it will be 525 days on average for a decision.
To read more about Congress’ concern in Stars & Stripes: http://www.stripes.com/news/skeptics-doubt-va-s-claim-of-breakthrough-on-claims-backlog-1.180811
Tags: Agent Orange