The Veterans Affairs Administration is being pounded over scandalous delays for veterans seeking health care.
Now comes a new concern about tens of thousands of veterans’ disability claims that are going nowhere; possibly the result of the agency shifting its claims process online.
About a year and a half ago, the VA launched a web portal for submitting disability claims. Since then, vets have initiated nearly 450,000 claims electronically. But about 300,000 claims have sat idle. Some have even expired.
Once applicants start a claim, they have a year to wrap it up.
“What we worry about is that some of these people, having started a claim, may be thinking they’ve submitted something to the VA, and the VA is just taking their time to take action on it, when in fact they haven’t completed the application process,” says Gerald Manar, Deputy Director of the National Veterans Service with the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Disability payments can range from about $100 a month to several thousand dollars a month.
Robert Reynolds directs the benefits assistance service with the VA. He says the agency made a big push to move the whole claims system online. Vets may be confused about the process.
“This is a huge transformational business change,” Reynolds says.
Reynolds says the VA is meeting with veterans service organizations to figure out who opened disability claims online and needs help finishing them.
We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.
Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.
In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.
Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.