Posted on Mar 28, 2011
A new bill could allow veterans who turn in fully complete applications for disability benefits to receive an extra year of payments.

The bill is sponsored by Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina, who believes that this new law could allow disabled veterans to get their benefits faster and could cut down on the increasingly large backlog of cases that the Veterans Affairs Department has been struggling against. Any veteran who turns in a complete and accurate application would receive back pay for a year of disability payments, while those who turn in incomplete applications would receive benefits effective as soon as their application is received.

The year's worth of benefits would make a large difference in many veterans’ lives – especially those who have been struggling to get their conditions diagnosed and analyzed by medical professionals. At the same time, the bill hopes to increase the number of fully-developed and complete applications that Veterans’ Affairs receives, cutting back significantly on how much time is spent reviewing and approving benefits applications.

Currently, it can take months or even years for veterans to complete the application process, and many say that a contributing factor to the long wait are applications that don’t provide adequate evidence of disability or enough medical information to approve the case. At this time, there are more than 360,000 applications awaiting approval and the average wait time is four months. With a large number of disabled veterans returning home each day, this wait is only expected to increase unless some reforms in the application process are made.
James R. Keller
Connect with me
Partner at Keller & Keller