Congress approves bill to address claims backlog

The veterans’ bill, approved by the Senate Aug. 1, is expected to reduce the time it takes for the Department of Veterans Affairs to handle appeals. The measure is part of an ongoing effort to reduce a longstanding claims backlog and is a priority for VA Secretary David Shulkin, who calls the appeals process “broken.”

On disability claims, the measure passed would overhaul the appeals process, allowing veterans to file “express” appeals if they waive their right to a hearing or the ability to submit new evidence. The VA could test the new program for up to 18 months until Shulkin could certify it was ready for a full rollout with enough money to manage appeals effectively. Lawmakers hope the legislation ultimately will reduce average wait times to less than a year.

In my opinion, this is nothing more than smoke and mirrors. Shuffling work around and calling it something different doesn’t speed anything up. The idea that a veteran should waive anything is ludicrous in order to convince the VA to grant compensation to a deserving disabled veteran.  Do you believe it’ll make a difference?

VA Removes Annual Income Reporting Requirement

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is eliminating the annual requirement for most Veterans enrolled in VA’s health care system to report income information beginning in March 2014.  Instead, VA will automatically match income information obtained from the Internal Revenue Service and Social Security Administration.


Did you know? Over 1/3 of the VA backlog is claims based on Vietnam Service.

The Monday Morning Workload Reports, part of VA’s Transparency Program, are weekly compilations of performance measures for the processing of Disability, Pension and Education benefits, as reported by Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) regional offices.

Aircrews Exposed to Agent Orange!

A growing amount of evidence supports the conclusion that veterans who served near aircraft used to spray Agent Orange
were exposed to Agent Orange. A scientific journal on Environmental Research titled “Post-Vietnam Military
Herbicide Exposures in UC-123 Agent Orange Spray Aircraft” concluded that trace levels of dioxin on such aircraft above the Department of Defense (DoD) standards of maximum permissible exposure to poisonous chemicals existed. Based upon surface wipes and airborne concentration test, the researchers concluded that
the crews would have inhaled, ingested, and absorbed through their skin the herbicide dioxin, commonly known as Agent Orange. Accordingly, in our opinion, any veteran who served on a crew that worked proximate to such aircraft should seek service connection for diseases identified as related to Agent Orange. For help in filing a claim, please contact us.