Wednesday, October 3, 2012

American Legion says veterans should get interest for waiting

I totally agree! When you think about the fact the VA has rules on when paperwork has to be filed, but doesn't seem to be held accountable for not getting claims processed right on time, this is only fair. When my husband's claim was tied up for six years, it was a burden no family should be expected to endure while bills piled up and the VA charged us for his care. Yes, they charged us because back then private insurance companies could just deny the claim and say it was the VA's responsibility to take care of him. When we couldn't pay, they just took our tax refund. Once his claim was approved, it was bitter sweet because of all the suffering we had to go through.

Maybe having to pay interest would get the Congress to make sure the VA was fully funded enough to have enough trained claims processors to take care of all the influx of disabled veterans when they change rules.

Legion: Pay interest on delayed vets’ claims
Army Times
By Rick Maze
Staff writer
Posted : Wednesday Oct 3, 2012

Disabled veterans waiting longer than 125 days for their initial disability claims to be processed should receive interest on top of their retroactive benefits, says the new commander of the American Legion, the nation’s largest veterans’ group.

Today, payments on approved claims are backdated to the day they are filed, but interest is not paid.

James Koutz, an Army veteran of the Vietnam War who leads the 2.4-million member Legion, said payments with interest would be a small recognition by the government that veterans had been forced to wait too long for pay they deserved.

His suggestion came Wednesday during a hearing before a joint meeting of the House and Senate Veterans’ Affairs committees to hear from the Legion’s top officials. Similar hearings featuring other military and veterans’ groups are held throughout the year.
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