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VA disability claims backlog still too large

Our country's military veterans have made a great sacrifice for the protection and betterment of our society. After giving so much for our country, the least they should expect is to be cared for when they come home. Though there are many programs in existence aimed at helping veterans, the sad reality is that many of these systems are deeply flawed. One of the most troublesome programs is veterans' disability claims through the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The VA has been facing a serious backlog for a long time, but renewed effort was promised to reduce the backlog. Now, seven months after those efforts were supposed to reduce the backlog to zero, the VA faces 70,000 pending disability claims. Though some of the open claims have been intentionally left in that state to ensure full payment to veterans, officials agree that more needs to be done.

But, words are doing little to the nearly 20 percent of veterans whose disability claims take longer than four months to be adjudicated. For these individuals, whose appeals can stretch the timeframe even longer, the delay prohibits them from recovering much needed compensation to cover their living and medical expenses.

Though the VA disability claim backlog has decreased over the years, more work needs to be done. Despite the backlog, though, veterans who have suffered disability and a resulting inability to work should carefully consider what they can do to strengthen their claim. These individuals should understand all their legal options and rights in order to get the compensation they deserve.

Source: Military Times, "VA disability backlog tops 70,000 - 7 months after it was supposed to be zero," Leo Shane III, July 10, 2016

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