Appeals Court finds VA Delays for Health Services Not Unconstitutional

A conclusion has been made in a year-long case against the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) involving the delayed handling of cases where disabled veterans are seeking mental health services.

In May 2011, the original case brought against the VA by 2 veterans’ groups cited that the department was negligent in providing timely service to veterans in serious need of mental health support. They claimed this led to nearly 6,500 veteran suicides that could have been prevented with prompt care. The case was ruled in favor of the veterans’ groups, but the VA appealed the decision.

Now, a Monday, May 7 decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned the previous ruling, finding that the VA’s conduct was not considered unconstitutional. The court cited that only the President or Congress would have the power to enforce changes to speed up the assessment and treatment of mentally disabled veterans.

Many veterans’ groups believe that when veterans suffer from mental health disabilities, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety, they become more prone to attempt suicide. The belief is that if these veterans could get immediate mental health evaluations and treatment, the high suicide rate among veterans would drop drastically.

If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, a South Florida disability attorney from Veterans Help Group is ready to help. To learn if you are entitled to certain programs and benefits contact our veteran’s disability rights firm today  1-855-855-8992.