Tags: Veterans | healthcare | veteran affairs

Veterans Groups Slam VA For Eliminating 200,000 Applications For Healthcare

veteran affairs sign on building shown
(AP)

By    |   Monday, 15 July 2019 11:35 AM

The Veterans Affairs Department in Atlanta eliminated more than 200,000 applications nationwide for healthcare this year as part of an attempt to reduce a massive backlog of requests, saying they were missing signatures or requested information, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on Monday.

Veterans groups criticized the move, saying the VA should have made a greater effort to reach out to the veterans before closing their applications.

The critics charged that soldiers have additional challenges in applying for VA healthcare as they try to return to civilian life, change addresses after overseas deployments and suffer from combat stress.

The VA had sent out one rejection letter to each of the applicants a few years ago, but a bipartisan group of federal lawmakers had urged the VA to make an additional communication clarifying what missing information they needed to turn in. However, the VA refused to do so.

The VA’s Health Eligibility Center in Atlanta, which oversees the process by which veterans seek access to the VA medical system, has come under scrutiny in recent years for mismanagement and delays in providing medical care.

Its backlog of pending applications was 317,157 in April, down from a high of 886,045 last year.

That current backlog is still “way too high,” said Jeremy Butler, CEO of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America advocacy group.

“Something is not quite working right if we are not getting that number lower than it is,” he said. “We need to be working together to get that number down.”

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The Veterans Affairs Department in Atlanta eliminated more than 200,000 applications nationwide for healthcare this year as part of an attempt to reduce a massive backlog of requests, saying they were missing signatures or requested information . . .
healthcare, veteran affairs
271
2019-35-15
Monday, 15 July 2019 11:35 AM
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