The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has taken a lot of flack over the past few years when it comes to veterans benefits, and rightfully so. The backlog of those waiting for their benefits has been on the uprise for years, with the average wait time for benefits skyrocketing to 923 days by the end of 2013. Many were simply not getting the treatment they needed.
However, VA officials have announced plans they hope will speed up the process of disability claims and appeals. A new standardized set of forms from the VA aims to make it easier for veterans and their families to get the benefits they so desperately need.
VA Secretary Robert McDonald said in a press release that it is his department’s goal to do everything they can to ensure veterans receive an accurate decision on their claim.
“Our veterans and survivors will know, at the outset of the claims process, what is needed, which removes subjective interpretation from the process,” McDonald said. “We want to eliminate any barriers that make it difficult for our veterans or survivors to receive benefits to which they are entitled.”
These new regulations are set to be in place by March 2015, according to VA. However, it is important to remember that we have heard claims that the process will improve before. There have been years of work on a system to eliminate backlog, which peaked in early 2013 at more than 611,000. The backlog still sits at more than 300,000 veterans.
Veterans who want to ensure they receive their benefits should seek the assistance of a trained attorney. This can make the process of attaining maximum benefits much easier.
The Law Offices of Harold W. Conick and Associates is based in Wheaton, Illinois and committed to assisting veterans obtain the maximum benefit from their claims. The process is complicated and lengthy, but veterans must be persistent in pressing their entitlement to service connected benefits.