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Are the needs of disabled veterans being met?

Over the last several months, there has been a lot of talk about the delays in benefit administration for injured and disabled military veterans. The Department of Veterans Affairs currently has a very large backlog of disability claims, which has left many vets waiting for critical financial support.

Veterans who are left unable to work as the result of a serious injury may have more than one option for disability benefits. The Social Security disability program offers financial support to those who have qualifying medical conditions. The important thing to know is that it may be possible to apply for SSD benefits while waiting approval from the VA.

Since there has been a lot of pressure put on the VA to eliminate the backlog, certain measures have been taken to streamline the process. However, some are beginning to wonder just how effective and fair the new measures really are.

One program is in place to reward "excellent" work among claim reviewers, according to reports. This program provides cash bonuses to those who process the most claims. In order to boost their numbers, these employees often work through the simplest cases, while leaving the more complex ones untouched for a longer period of time.

Furthermore, suggest that a new policy to eliminate claims that have been in limbo for over a year might exacerbate the problem of neglecting more difficult cases, which leaves many people in a difficult position.

Service-related injuries can be absolutely devastating. Even though a person may want to return to work right away, it may simply not be possible. As such, it can be helpful for injured veterans to carefully examine all of the options available to them for benefits.

Source: Yakima Herald, "While veterans wait for disability payments, processors handle easy claims to meet targets," Mary Shinn, Daniel Moore and Steven Rich, Sept. 9, 2013

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