Extended Hospital Stays
Qualifying Disabilities for Special Monthly Compensation
Apply for Special Monthly Compensation
A recent policy change at the Department of Veterans Affairs will now require veterans to go through a more formal process, while beginning the process of receiving benefits. Two groups of veterans recently filed a lawsuit against the Department Of Veterans Affairs, saying that the new policies are veteran-unfriendly, and make it difficult for vets to begin receiving their benefits.
Under the new policy at the Department Of Veterans Affairs, veterans will have to fill in a formal application, or speak to an employee at the agency before they begin receiving their benefits. According to the Disabled American Veterans and Veterans Of Foreign Wars, the new policies are extremely unfriendly to veterans, and would actually be an obstacle for veterans in getting their benefits claims processed, and receiving benefits. They would also delay the date when the benefits would begin.
Further, according to the two groups, these new policy changes would make it very difficult for veterans who may not be mentally or physically able to comply with the new regulations.
Under the earlier policy, a veteran could simply initiate the process of receiving benefits by submitting a paper, in which he would describe all of his issues. That would result in an employee at the Department Of Veterans Affairs getting in touch with the vet, and providing all of the correct paperwork to begin the process of filing a claim. The earlier policy, according to veterans, was much friendlier to veterans, and made it easier for them to receive benefits. The new policy was announced on March 24. Under the new policy, the agency is not responsible for correcting any errors, if the veteran fills out the application incorrectly.
An investigation by CBS has found widespread mismanagement at the Department Of Veterans Affairs with the result that many veterans were denied benefits even when they were eligible for these.
Every year, the Veterans Benefit Administration processes disability claims for veterans, providing them approximately $95 billion, in disability, pension and other benefits. However, widespread mismanagement at the agency has resulted in many claims simply being denied, and veterans being robbed of their due benefits. In many cases, veterans died even as they waited for a response from the Veterans Affairs.
All of these problems were uncovered recently by an investigation which was kicked off after the scandal at the Veterans Affairs Hospital at Phoenix. At least five whistleblowers at the Oakland California Veterans Benefits office, told investigators at CBS News, that there were more than 13000 informal claims that were filed between 1996 and 2009 and stored in a file cabinet at the office. Those claims were simply ignored until 2012. Some of the letters that were sent out after those claims began to be processed, involved veterans who died during that period of time.
According to the whistleblowers, there were many informal letters from veterans, who were at the end of their lives, begging for a chance to claim benefits. Informal claims are filed by veterans who want to apply for benefits, and Veterans Affairs is required under the law to provide these vets with an application.
Supervisors at the office however simply ordered staff members to write “no action necessary” on the claims, and threw them aside. Some of these veterans and their families were not even aware of the type of benefits that they were eligible for, and the veterans in these cases died before they even got a chance to find out.
To file a claim for veterans benefits or understand what types of benefits you are eligible for, speak to a California veterans disability benefits attorney.
According to experts, an increase in disability benefits claims by veterans over the past 5 years, has led to a tremendous strain on the ability of doctors to evaluate these claims, contributing to a tremendous backlog and slower processing of claims.
Between fiscal 2009 and 2013, the Veterans Benefits Administration estimates that the number of disability claims it received spiked by 44%. During the same year of time, there was no corresponding increase in the number of doctors, who were brought in to evaluate the claims. The number of doctors during the same period only increased by about 22%.
That means that there are fewer doctors who are being placed under increasing strain and pressure, when they are required to evaluate an ever increasing number of claims. The number of veterans’ disability claims that are being filed is growing at a pace that seems to be too high for the Veterans Benefits Administration to handle.
This has dramatically slowed down the processing of claims. According to one report released last year by the Government Accountability Office, veterans’ disability claims increased by 29% between 2009 and 2011. However, even though more number of claims were filed, the agency only managed to process 6% more number of claims. That has meant a much heavier claims backlog, and tremendous pressure on the system.
The increased number of claims has also meant that each claim that is filed gets less and less attention as the number of cases balloons. Insiders at the Veterans Department of Veterans Affairs say that it is simply not possible to whet each claim as stringently and strictly as earlier, because of the increasing influx of claims.
The Department Of Veterans Affairs is currently embroiled in a nationwide scandal, in which it appears that employees at several Veterans Affairs hospitals across the country engaged in a long and deceitful program of falsification of records to cover up long delays in patient care. Now, lawmakers are calling for the Justice Department to get involved in the investigation.
According to Republican as well as Democratic lawmakers, the Department Of Justice and the FBI can dedicate the kind of legal resources as well as expertise necessary to understand just how bad the problem is. It now appears that one facility in Phoenix was maintaining two waitlists. The first secret list was designed primarily to show that the facility was in compliance with federal guidelines that specifically set a limit within which a vet should receive care. The second list showed very clearly that patients had to wait for weeks, and months for an appointment. Whistleblowers have claimed that at least 40 service members died at the Phoenix hospital as a result of delayed care.
Currently, the Department Of Veterans Affairs Inspector General is investigating at least 26 facilities to determine whether such cover-ups existed at other facilities across the country too. It is quite clear that there were such problems at other VA hospitals, but the full extent of the cover-ups will emerge once the VA investigation is concluded.
Delays at Veterans Affairs medical facilities has meant that service members, many of them suffering from serious conditions like post traumatic stress disorders, brain trauma, mental illness and all kinds of other injuries, are made to wait inordinately long periods of time for medical care. These long delays place these veterans at risk of serious injury or even death.
- Agent Orange (3)
- Amputations (2)
- Benefit Claims (8)
- Brain Injuries (21)
- Brain Injury During Combat (6)
- California Veterans’ Disability Benefits Lawyers (16)
- Carcinogene Exposure (2)
- Chronic Pain (1)
- Compensation & Pension (2)
- Disability Benifits (8)
- Disability Claims Information (15)
- Exorcism on PTSD (1)
- Gulf War Illness (3)
- Heart Disease (1)
- IED Injuries (1)
- Medical Marijuana (2)
- Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (1)
- Post traumatic Brain Injury (6)
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, (32)
- Psychiatric Claims (5)
- PTSD (54)
- Severe Injuries (6)
- Suicide (9)
- Tuition Benefits (1)
- Veteran Myths (1)
- Veteran Suicide Prevention Bill (2)
- Veteran Violence (1)
- Veterans Benefits (27)
- Veterans Disabilities (21)
- Veterans Disability Claim (12)
- Veterans Employment (8)
- Veterans Health Administration (6)
- Veterans Law Group (19)
- Veterans Mental Health Disorder (8)
- Veterans Suicide (3)
- Veteran's Suicide Prevention Bill (1)
- Veterans’ Disability Benefits Lawyers (10)