The VA has implimented a plan to decide claims that have been pending for over two years without a decision. The VA Secretary has ordered that work on all cases cease, except for new claims pending for over two years old. Thus, no work will be done by VA on appeals, developing of BVA remands, or even paying veterans that have been awarded benefits by the board until the 41,000 original claims pending for two years are decided. The secretary has said that these claims must be decided by June 19, 2013.
This plan is going to hurt veterans because these claims mostly have not been developed, you can't schedule these 41,000 claims for medical examinations and make sure all medical records and lay statements are in the file by June 19. Thus the claims will mostly be denied, which is in nobody's interest, and they will become part of the appeals backlog. Because many veterans do not know about their appeal rights, many of these 41,000 claims will not be appealed, and veterans will have unfairly lost their right to benefits.