Vietnam adept Paul Troop, ceremoniousness his collapsed assembly while at the World War II Memorial on Veterans Day in Washington, Nov. 11, 2013. ((Reuters))
The Department of Veterans Affairs wants to change the decades-old way in which veterans book for affliction claims — and it has veterans advancement groups outraged.
The VA has proposed mandating the use of connected forms for filing claims. The accepted rules acquiesce veterans to abide claims in a array of ways, including a simple handwritten note. The moment a adept contacts the VA to affirmation a disability, whether it be via email or a handwritten note, that becomes the starting point for attendant pay should the affirmation be approved.
But the VA wants to get rid of this alleged “informal affirmation process,” acute veterans to annals online or actually complete a accepted handwritten form. Attendant pay would be accustomed starting at the date the anatomy is actually completed — acceptation the alarm won’t alpha active for partially complete handwritten forms, as it does now.
Representatives from the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars say this is a “seismic change” that will aching veterans. They say it rewards those who use the Internet, about creating classes amid veterans.
“We acquire apropos because the boilerplate age of the American adept is 64 years old and the 2010 demography appear that 55 percent of Americans 65 and earlier do not acquire approved admission to the Internet,” said Zachary Hearn, agent administrator of allowances for the American Legion.
Jerry Manar, with Veterans of Foreign Wars, has abounding agnate problems with the proposed change. In an account with Fox News, he said that abridged forms and delayed alpha dates for attendant pay could amount admirable veterans bags of dollars.
“The VA is actually appropriate to go the cyberbanking way, but to amerce vets who don’t acquire the assets to affirmation electronically by tens of bags of dollars or added is too much, too severe,” Manar said. “Under this change the VA is not activity to acquire a affirmation from a adept in autograph until they complete an absolute form, acknowledgment every question, dot every ‘i’, cantankerous every ‘t’ — and it may booty weeks or months for veterans to access the advice all-important to complete the form, abutment their affirmation and accelerate it in.”
In a account to Fox News, the VA said it’s artlessly aggravating to improve and t up with its 400,000 backlogged claims.
“VA wants to accomplish it as fast and accessible as accessible for Veterans and their survivors to book for and accept an authentic accommodation on their claim,” the account said. “This proposed aphorism would crave the use of connected forms to advice accumulate the claims action and improve the VA arrangement to ensure Veterans and their families accept the allowances they deserve added quickly.”
Meanwhile, Pentagon agent Rear Adm. John Kirby said the Department of Defense is in “lockstep” with the VA on this advance to move claims into the cyberbanking realm. He said a majority of veterans from the Iraq and Afghan wars can accomplish a affirmation on their buzz and they appetite it that way. Kirby additionally said Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was afresh a on the action and said he was “encouraged by the advance that has been fabricated so far.”
The VA does not acquire an estimated date for the decision.
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