Veteran Disability Lawyer
The VA is currently dealing with a backlog of nearly 900,000 compensation and pension claims. Why the hold up? More complex disability claims are slowing the processing time on these claims.
The average claim from Iraq and Afghanistan veterans now includes more than nine disability issues – far more than any other generation of vets since World War II.
According to Gerald Manar of Veterans of Foreign Wars, there are several reasons for the increased number of disability issues per claim. For one, these wars have utilized National Guard and reserve troops more than previous conflicts. Reservists tend to be older than their active-duty counterparts and more prone to wear and tear on their bodies.
Also, many troops have been deployed multiple times to Iraq or Afghanistan – whereas most Vietnam vets were deployed for one year and then left active duty. Multiple deployments means increased exposure to IEDs and other hazards and greater likelihood of injury.
Additionally, newer veterans are better informed about what benefits are available and how to access them. This is due in part to pre-separation briefings for all troops.
Since 2001, claims to the VA have risen 94 percent, with 1.3 million received in fiscal 2011. Processing time for these claims is slowing to a crawl. In 2001, the average time to complete a claim was 181 days; now it’s 257 days.
The VA has pledged to begin reducing this backlog by 2015; however, it may still be 20 years before the backlog is eliminated.
To learn more or read the original article, please visit: