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?

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