Sacramento, CA (PRWEB) February 09, 2014
Thousands of California veterans are now receiving financial compensation and health care benefits due to the effective collaboration between the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA) Joint Claims Initiative. Veterans’ benefits claims which have been filed with the USDVA —some stuck in the federal system for more than two years—are now being expedited.
As of January 30, 2014, with 21 members of the 36 approved staff hired, vetted, and authorized to review claims, the “Strike Teams” at the CalVet District Offices in Oakland, Los Angeles and San Diego have collectively reviewed 5,822 claims since September of 2013.
The compensation awarded to veterans through these efforts is substantial: $1,865,139 in lump sum payments (meaning retroactive payments based on the time the claim has been sitting at the USDVA). Monthly award payments totaling $181,961 have been awarded to those same veterans. That means more than $2,183,532 in payments will be going to those California veterans every year for the rest of their lives. That is also money that come right back in to California’s economy.
“CalVet is proud of its efforts thus far and elated for the veterans and their families that are now receiving compensation for their service-connected injuries, however there will be no celebrating until the backlog is gone,” said Keith Boylan, CalVet Deputy Secretary for Veterans Services. “Ensuring veterans effectively access the compensation and health care earned through their service to our country is our priority as it is a critical step in their successful transition home.”
The California Budget Act of 2013 authorized $3 million and 36 limited-term positions to create the CalVet/USDVA Joint Claims Initiative. The Initiative allows CalVet Veterans Claims Representatives access to claims currently pending over 125 day within the USDVA system which they then fully develop and package for rating.
In FY 2012, veterans benefits brought more than $10 billion in federal benefits into California in the form of compensation, pension, health care, education, vocational rehabilitation, employment and other services.
For a copy of the full Joint Claims Initiative status report, contact CalVet.