Don't Limit Veterans' Ability to File Disability Claims

Published by SERGIO DE LA PEÑA

(SPENCER PLATT/GETTY IMAGES)


President Joe Biden's Veterans Administration (VA) annual budget requests have increased by double-digit percentages—positive steps to take care of the nation's nearly 20 million veterans. The VA's request for Fiscal Year 2022 was roughly $270 billion, up 10 percent from 2021. For Fiscal Year 2023, it is $301 billion.


Yet like a lot of things in Washington, such impressive numbers fail to tell the whole story. Throwing money at a problem doesn't automatically mean better results.

First, skyrocketing inflation levels not seen in 40 years will mostly render such increases moot. The government simply printing money to fund higher spending is a root cause of inflation to begin with.


Second, and what caught my attention as a veteran, is that these VA budget increases are happening as some in Congress push for major changes that would sharply limit the ability of veterans to file disability claims. Curtailing such options couldn't come at a worse time. During the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting work-from-home policies, out of over 500,000 pending claims, over 200,000 were considered backlogged—meaning no action after 120 days.


This already enormous backlog is about to get far worse if some in Congress get their way.

Under current law, veterans have four channels to process a disability claim: individually, VA-accredited agents, private consultants, and Veteran Service Organizations (VSOs)....


Read full article on Newsweek.