President Barak Obama has proposed a $163.9 billion budget for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Fiscal Year 2015. The proposed budget is 6.5 percent higher than 2014 and will help the department continue to provide ongoing programs and work toward eliminating the veterans disability claims backlog.
The VA budget is broken into several spending categories, the most notable to veterans being health care ($59.1 billion), expanding access to services ($2.2 billion), eliminating the disability claim backlog ($312 million), and eliminating veterans homelessness ($1.6 billion).
Health care expenses are set to increase as the VA health care system becomes one of the largest in the nation with approximately nine million enrollees. The health care budget is set to increase spending in several critical areas including a $7.2 billion budget for mental health care, $2.6 billion for prosthetics, $561 million for spinal cord injuries, $229 for TBI, $238 for readjustment counseling, and $7 billion for long-term care.
Many of these services will benefit disabled veterans, whose numbers continue to grow every year as more and more servicemembers return from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Newly discharged veterans are often unaware of the benefits to which they are entitled, so the VA is budgeting more to improve access to services and build more VA hospitals and clinics in remote areas.
With the goal of eliminating the disability claim backlog by 2015, the VA is investing more in technology for claims processing and development of the Veterans Claims Intake Program (VCIP) that converts paper records into electronic files.
Each year thousands more veterans’ disability claims are filed and only the fully developed claims are processed in a timely manner. At The Law Offices of Veterans Help Group our claim representatives work hand-in-hand with applicants to develop claims or correct errors before appealing a decision. For help filing your disability benefits claim or challenging a disability rating, contact our firm today – 1-855-855-8992.