Saturday, April 4, 2015

VA Disability Benefits Taking Too Long part 2

Years ago, I wrote an article, pasted at the bottom of this, about benefits taking too long to come though.  I have had some recent experience that is baffling to me, and I wanted to hear from other vets on what their experiences have been like.

Not long ago, I went in to get re-rated on my lower back problems.  I was at 0% for my back before this, and I have been out of work for extended periods of time due to the issues.  I went in and saw a friendly doctor about 4 weeks after I re-applied.  I would say that it only took about 4 months for the decision to come through from the date I re-applied.  I was very happy with that.

On the other hand, I applied to get additional pay when my first son was born.  They only needed his name and SSN, but that took nearly 18 months to go through.  I hope that things improve on this as that extra money would have been nice to have for those 18 months.

Please comment to give me your thoughts on how things have changed over the past 4-5 years on this subject.

Here is a copy of part 1 of this post:

I know that a lot of people have had issues with how long it takes to get the decision for their disability rating.  I have been waiting since May 2010 for my paperwork to go through and for the medical evaluations to go through.  I have been out of work, and paying the bills is really tough.  This is an issue that all veterans are affected by, and it is something that needs to change.  We need to come together and figure out a way to make some changes in the way the VA works.

This problem starts with our government.  The current administration has talked a lot about creating jobs, and there have been projects that the government has sponsored to get Americans back to work.  I know that they have worked a lot on fixing roads that needed re-paving.  While all of this is going on, there is a hiring freeze within the Department of Veterans Affairs.  There are simply not enough people working on all of the disability cases that are currently pending, and wait times are getting longer and longer.

I live in New Hampshire, and all of my paperwork goes through the Manchester, NH regional office.  Right now, there are not enough raters to keep up with the claims and they are working on promoting people to fill in the vacancies.  The people that they promoted have to go through some extensive training in order to be able to make a rating, and that is putting a serious delay on all cases going through Manchester.

Our government needs to "create jobs" by stopping the hiring freeze within the Department of Veterans Affairs.  The director of the VA has said he wants all disability claims to go through within 120 days, but they are taking three to four times as long.  When things are taking longer in a certain district, like they are in Manchester, other districts should take some of the extra workload.  The Department of Veterans Affairs is not working efficiently enough, and it is up to us to demand changes in the way things are done.


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