Sunday, June 22, 2008

VA reported 879,291 claims were in backlog

June 22
Increased VA budget to quicken disability claims
THE HOUSE OF Representatives and the U.S. Senate approved legislation in March that would increase the VA budget by $3.2 billion, which is more than what the Administration offered in February. According to the June issue of DAV magazine, this move could set the VA’s total budget at $93.6 billion for 2009, indicating a $5.22 billion increase from this year. The two bills, H. Con. Res. 312 in the House and S. Con Res. 70 in the Senate, passed March 13 and 14 respectively.

From comments in the June issue of the VFW magazine: “The $3.2 billion increase is in line with the veterans health care recommendations that were laid out in the Independent Budget,” said Dennis M. Cullinan, director, National Legislative Service, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, when referring to a budget developed by the VFW, Paralyzed Veterans of America, AMVETS and Disabled Veterans. “Both the Senate and House versions reject the proposed co-payment and fee increases, which the VFW strongly opposes.”

The Senate version also includes an amendment that offers $50 million to speed up the processing of disability claims. It would pay for pilot programs to reduce the average waiting time -- which currently is six months -- for rulings on claims.

As of March, the VA reported 879,291 claims were in backlog from the same time last year.

Cullinan says, “This is just the first step in the VA funding process. It gives broad outlines of spending for the Department which the Appropriations Subcommittees will use to find specific amounts and tasks within the VA. The process is not complete until the president signs the Appropriations Bill.” The Federal government’s 2009 fiscal year begins Oct. 1, 2008.

also on this page you should read

VA care extended for combat veterans

VA volunteers number 85,000
go here for more

While the Congress has finally stepped up to undo some of the damage done to the wounded veterans with claims hung up in the backlog, it will take time for all of this to work down to them. This is not just about waiting their turn. It's about what happens to them in between the time they go from active military to veteran.

With PTSD, it takes time for them to understand what is wrong with them. Believe me, they know something is wrong but often will not be willing to face what it is and are very reluctant to seek help. This is a crucial time because all evidence proves the less time PTSD is allowed to devastate at will, the better the chance of recovery is. The longer it goes on, the deeper the wound spreads. With a claim tied up, there is time lost. Many will not seek treatment when they have to worry about paying their bills and supporting their family at the same time their family is falling apart. While the combat veteran are entitled to free care for a time without an approved claim, this does not address the extra financial stress added to the veteran when they cannot work.

We cannot forget that there are also some with physical wounds that need to be taken care of and some of those wounds prevent the veteran from working. They go without income as well yet still need to pay their bills.

Every time you hear about a backlog, you need to consider what comes with that claim tied up. None of it is good. Something needs to be done today to get these claims honored.

No comments:

Post a Comment

If it is not helpful, do not be hurtful. Spam removed so do not try putting up free ad.