Although numerous issues have been raised concerning the significant backlog of veterans disability claims, one of the potential causes could be the mishandling of paperwork – losing documents is one of the most common complaints.
Unfortunately, this isn’t something new. It’s been a problem for the past several years, causing many claimants to be wrongly denied benefits or decisions to be unnecessarily delayed. A report last year from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) discovered that it can take months to gather all of the documentation necessary to prove eligibility for disability benefits, as noted in a recent news report from the McClatchy Washington Bureau.
It’s hard to understand how paperwork could get lost, but it’s apparently a big problem since the Office of the Inspector General at the VA found that out of 16 VA regional offices, 10 of them had issues with mishandling mail, the story notes.
Another potential issue for wrong denial of claims are when the VA is required to search for records. They have a duty to assist vets with the assembling of paperwork, but those attempts might go only so far, resulting in a hasty (and wrong) decision to deny a claim.
While these may not be the only problems contributing to the backlog of claims, they certainly raise concerns – especially since the VA has made its goal to eliminate the backlog by 2015.
Although not much can be done to prevent the loss of paperwork once it reaches the VA, there are steps that can be taken to at least reduce the chance of delays or denials. Making sure all of the proper documentation is assembled when the claim is initially filed can make a significant difference. For help, contact the Law Offices of Veterans Help Group at 855-855-8992.