Sean Kendall Veterans Law Firm

The VA Continues to fall Behind in its Claims Processing

  More people are hired and more decisions are made, yet the VA continues to lag behind and veterans suffer longer and longer delays.  Last month, the VA decided 107,462 cases, a record number.  Yet the backlog has grown to over 1,000,000.  And its worse ever for appeals, the first appeal to the Decision Review Officer typically takes between 9-16 months in Denver, over two years in California, and 6-9 months in Florida.  

More than 567,000 benefits claims had been awaiting completion by VBA workers for more than 125 days. That’s down almost 13,000 applications from the start of August, but up nearly 27,000 from January and 2,000 from June, when Veterans' Affairs officials announced the reassignment of hundreds of claims processors to start attacking the problem.

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Denver Colorado Real Estate 05/28/2013 07:09 AM
However, VBA officials said that delays in obtaining military records--particularly for members of the National Guard and Reserve--and Social Security Administration (SSA) medical records impact VA's duty to assist, possibly delaying a decision on a veteran's disability claim. Further, VBA's paper-based claims processing system involves multiple hand-offs, which can lead to misplaced and lost documents and cause unnecessary delays. Concerning timeliness of appeals, VBA regional offices have in recent years shifted resources away from appeals and towards claims, which has led to lengthy appeals timeframes.
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Sean Kendall 05/28/2013 08:53 AM
I don't entirely agree with this comment, VA uses duty to assist as an excuse for the delays, and it is true that these things cause delay. But VA insists on getting military and SSA records often when such records are not particularly relevant to a claim. If a VA doctor says a soldier/veterans is unemployable due to service-connected disability, getting SSA records is unnecessary. I entirely agree with the multiple hands on comment, this causes much of he delay in the system, as does worthless duty to assist/VCAA correspondence with claimants.
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