Now more than ever, it’s important for Veterans to work with experienced claims representatives and Veterans’ benefits attorneys to avoid mistakes that add further unnecessary delays.
Parkersburg, WV (PRWEB) May 03, 2011
With the number of Veterans’ claims taking more than four months to process having doubled, according to recent reports in USA Today and The Washington Post, deserving claimants may have to wait longer than ever to receive disability benefits, West Virginia Veterans’ benefits attorney Jan Dils said today.
“The Veterans’ disability claims system is slow and bureaucratic, and the backlog of Veterans’ claims is growing,” said Dils, whose West Virginia law firm helps disabled individuals with Veterans’ claims, disability claims and Social Security disability compensation.
“Now more than ever, it’s important for Veterans to work with experienced claims representatives and Veterans’ benefits attorneys to avoid mistakes that add further unnecessary delays,” Dils said.
Injured Veterans of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan are filing claims at historically high rates, according to The Washington Post. Nearly half of the 1.3 million combat Veterans discharged since 2001 have filed for benefits. By comparison, about 16 percent of Vietnam Veterans are receiving benefits.
With more Veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, Dils said the Veterans Administration is likely to see more and more disability claims in coming years. Many of these claims are for complex injuries such as traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The VA says the processing delays are caused by the greater complexity of many claims of Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, involving brain injuries and stress-related disorders. The number of claims that require more than 125 days to decide has swelled from 200,000 a year to 450,000.
At the same time, the Veterans Administration’s expansion of the number of illnesses linked to Agent Orange, a pesticide widely used during the Vietnam War, has generated a surge in claims among Vietnam-era Veterans.
The VA has added 3,000 additional claims processors to accommodate the anticipated increase, but the complexity of the claims has created a growing backlog.
Veterans and their survivors are projected to file 1.45 million benefits claims in 2011.
If a claim is denied, the Veteran can appeal. The number of Veterans’ disability appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims has doubled in recent years. At the same time, three of the court’s nine judicial seats are currently vacant.
“Veterans answered their country’s call to service,” Dils said. “Now, a grateful nation should provide the prompt help and benefits that disabled Veterans deserve. Veterans shouldn’t have to wait for months or years to receive what they rightfully deserve.”
About Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law, L.C.
Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law, L.C., focuses exclusively on helping individuals with disabilities get the financial help they deserve from the government by seeking benefits from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and the Social Security Administration. The firm has West Virginia offices in Charleston, Parkersburg, Huntington, Logan and Beckley and an office in Charlotte, North Carolina. To learn more about Veterans’ benefits and Social Security disability benefits, contact the firm by calling (877) 838-3726 or using its online form.