Washington D.C. - Today, Senator Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs, introduced a bill that will help veterans receive faster decisions on their disability compensation claims. The bill allows veterans who file "fully-developed claims" to be compensated for a period up to one year prior to the date the claim was filed, so the veteran will not lose out on any benefits while collecting evidence.
"Often, the most time-consuming part of the disability claims process is waiting for VA to gather evidence. Veterans who file complete claims will be able to bypass that part of the claims process so they can get their answers more quickly and move on with their lives. This bill helps ensure that veterans are not missing out on the benefits they've earned," said Senator Richard Burr.
In his testimony at a joint hearing with Disabled American Veterans (DAV) today, DAV National Commander, and fellow North Carolinian, Wally Tyson, called for continued reform of the VA claims processing system.
"I agree with Commander Tyson that the claims processing system needs a significant overhaul. While more must be done, this bill is a step in the right direction," said Senator Burr.
Specifically, the legislation implements a retroactive effective date up to one year prior to the filing of a claim accompanied by all necessary evidence. By providing an incentive for veterans to file these fully-developed claims, this bill would help remove the need for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to collect evidence on all claims, a lengthy process that can cause further delay and build upon the existing backlog in the decision-making process.
VA successfully piloted a program at ten VA regional offices through which VA expedited fully-developed claims. Last year, VA expanded the fully-developed claim process to all VA regional offices. This legislation is designed to encourage the use of that specific program.
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