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Bill to expand veteran disability fails

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is dealing with a lengthy backlog and it doesn’t look like the cavalry is coming to help anytime soon. A VA bill that would have expanded benefits for former service members failed to pass through a vote in the U.S. Senate. The measure, which was sponsored by Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders, would have cost $20 billion over the next decade and came four votes shy of passing.

North Carolina Senator Richard Burr said the fact that the bill would have added new veterans to the already crowded system.

“We have veterans dying from long waits for basic, necessary tests like colonoscopies,” Burr said, according to The Washington Post. “Veterans waiting for their disability claims to be processed know all about frustrations and delays at the VA, and adding more individuals to an already broken system doesn’t seem wise.”

Even so, veteran groups are clearly disappointed with this bill’s failure. American Legion national commander Daniel M. Dellinger told the Post that he believes the veterans deserve more than to have this bill stall out on the Senate floor.

Sanders said he will be trying again with this bill, further working with Republican senators to gain their support.

Although there are many delays encountered by veterans dealing with VA, the best way for a veteran to work through the system is to file appeals from a denial decision or decisions in a timely manner. It is also important to follow through on medical treatment and documentation of the disability. The Law Offices of Harold W. Conick and Associates stands ready to assist veterans in this process of securing receipt of their VA benefits.