Veterans’ Compensation Claims Are Speeding Up
Today’s veterans need a lot of assistance.
So, it’s no wonder the VA has been overwhelmed with processing requests for veteran compensation claims to a point that there’s a large backlog of cases.
I’m pleased to learn that the VA is taking this issue very seriously and has just authorized overtime compensation to increase the production of compensation claims in its 56 regional benefits offices.
Here’s how VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki explained it in a press release: “VA is dedicated to providing veterans with the care and benefits they have earned and deserve. This increased overtime initiative will provide more Veterans with decisions on their claims and will help us achieve our goal of eliminating the claims backlog.”
The additional overtime hours, which will be implemented through the end of fiscal year 2013, will be aimed at eliminating the backlog on high-priority claims for homeless veterans and those claiming financial hardship, the terminally ill, former Prisoners of War, Medal of Honor recipients, and veterans filing Fully Developed Claims.
As the VA explains, it’s the latest effort to reduce the backlog. Last month, the department announced plans to expedite compensation claims decisions for veterans who have waited one year or longer.
These are all great signs that the VA is doing all it can to help our veterans in these difficult times of need.
I know personally how tough it is for veterans.
At my work at Veterans Support Organization (VSO), I’ve seen many veterans who have been homeless because they couldn’t find work, struggled with PTSD and generally had trouble adjusting to the outside world after serving in the military. The VSO staff has given hundreds of veterans jobs and housing over the years, so they can return to being productive citizens again.
With the VA speeding up the claims processing, it will hopefully make life a bit easier for veterans – especially those on the verge of homelessness.
Richard VanHouten is the founder and CEO of Veterans Support Organization.