Tags: VA Scandal | groups | sue | veterans | affairs | disability | claims

Two Veteran Groups Sue VA Over Disability Claims Process

By    |   Thursday, 07 May 2015 10:24 PM

Two veterans groups are suing to stop a new Department of Veterans Affairs disability claims process – the second lawsuit filed since March, Stars and Stripes reports.

Filed by Disabled American Veterans and Veterans of Foreign Wars in the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, the lawsuit claims a VA policy doing away with a decades-old informal claim process will unfairly impact older and disabled veterans.

"[I]t discourages people from using the system, it creates roadblocks," Disabled American Veterans National Service Director Jim Marszalek told Stars and Stripes.

A separate lawsuit aimed at restoring the informal claims process was filed in late March by American Legion, AMVETS, Military Order of the Purple Heart, the National Veterans Legal Services Program and the Vietnam Veterans of America.

Marszalek said the two actions may wind up being combined.

According to Stars and Stripes, the process used to allow vets to start a claim simply by writing that they intended to file for service-connected disability compensation. Now they have to use standardized forms offered online, at VA offices or through service organizations.

The Wall Street Journal reports the VA has yet to eliminate its claims backlog – a chronic problem for years – and as of April 25, more than 161,000 claims had languished for 125 days or more.

The VA claims a more streamlined process would help to reduce delays.

A spokesman for the House Committee on Veteran Affairs told the Journal "legislation that would address this issue is currently under consideration by the committee."

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Two veterans groups are suing to stop a new Department of Veterans Affairs disability claims process – the second lawsuit filed since March, Stars and Stripes reports.
groups, sue, veterans, affairs, disability, claims, process
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2015-24-07
Thursday, 07 May 2015 10:24 PM
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