Veterans Deserve Better: How State Lawmakers Have Taken Action To Help Them

Veterans Deserve Better

The VA is the second largest federal agency, and unfortunately, they are struggling to keep up with demand. Backlogs in benefits and disability claims force veterans to wait far longer than they should have to for assistance. In fact, over 36% of the 520,000 pending disability and compensation claims are over 125 days old.

7% of the US Population has put on the uniform, sacrificed years of their life, and, if needed, agreed to lay down their life for our country. All in all, it’s not a bad deal for America. For veterans – you decide.

Forbes took on how state lawmakers are taking action.

Several organizations help veterans navigate the VA system, including Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs), comprised of volunteers, accredited legal representatives, and private consulting firms. Veterans can also try to navigate the VA process themselves. Still, the existence of private companies whose sole mission is to help veterans underscores the complexity and dysfunction of the system.

As reforms to the VA accreditation process are considered by Congress, it’s important to avoid any negative consequences that could make it more difficult for veterans to get the benefits they need and deserve. One proposal pending in the Senate would restrict veterans’ choice by effectively establishing a monopoly for accredited lawyers. Critics contend that in many cases, these lawyers are incentivized to drag out the benefits appeals process for longer than a year rather than seek a quicker resolution.

The VA provides a wide range of benefits and services to military veterans, including

  • health care
  • education
  • housing
  • and more

With a budget of over $240 billion, the VA is one of the largest federal agencies. It employs 412,000 workers and has 6,000 buildings, 144 medical facilities, and 1,200 outpatient locations across the country.

Headlines from 2019

Keep in mind these were the headlines in 2019.

Today, according to the Forbes article, more than 36% of the nearly 520,000 disability and compensations claims now pending at the VA are older than 125 days. 

Reforms to the VA benefits system could result in negative unintended consequences, including increasing service backlogs. One proposal pending in the U.S. Senate would restrict veterans’ choice by effectively establishing a monopoly for accredited lawyers. Critics contend that in many cases these lawyers may be incentivized to drag out the benefits appeals process for longer than a year rather than seek a quicker resolution.

Many say lawmakers should focus on expanding the accreditation system for private veterans service providers, in order to increase the number of available resources for veterans navigating the VA benefits claims and appeals processes.

Also discussed in the article:

State Lawmakers Are Helping Veterans With Tax Relief & Licensing Reform

Reducing Barriers To Employment For Military Families

Read the Full Article on Forbes

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