July 29, 2009
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs held a hearing on how to improve the disability evaluation system for our nation’s veterans and heard about steps that have been taken to try to improve the situation, such as the joint VA/DoD pilot program for transitioning servicemembers and ongoing efforts to modernize information technology systems.
"The men and women who have served and sacrificed for our nation deserve a system that meets their needs without hassles or delays," Senator Burr said. "Currently, it takes more than five months on average for VA to make an initial decision on a claim for veterans’ benefits and, if the veteran decides to appeal, the delays can go on for years. This is indefensible."
In fact, at a hearing earlier this year, Senator Burr asked several organizations to take a clean piece of paper and redesign the entire disability process, as if VA were standing up a new system. Today, the Committee heard from the Disabled American Veterans about a proposal they have developed in response to that request.
"I applaud DAV for their proposal and am pleased to be working with them to draft a bill that would help make some of their proposed changes a reality," Senator Burr added. "The disability compensation system has been plagued with problems for far too long and it is time to help veterans get decisions faster."
# # #