Due to the October 2013 government shutdown, many Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) services are now limited or suspended until further notice. As there is no determined date to when the funding for certain operations will once again become available, the VA has implemented its full contingency plan for government shutdowns.
Among the internal departments of the VA, the Board of Veterans Appeals will no longer conduct hearings for veterans disability decisions until the shutdown has ended. This means veterans who have been waiting on decisions or hearings for months will continue to wait until normal operations resume.
Unfortunately, this is a government-level decision and it impacts the veterans disability claims process. All veterans advocate services, veterans disability attorneys, and individual veterans will have to wait out the shutdown before they can continue to pursue an appeal hearing.
For first-time claimants who are not seeking an appeal, claims processing is still set to continue until late October. However, if the shutdown lasts longer, claims processing will have to be suspended when funding has been exhausted. In the event the shutdown lasts beyond the funded period, no new claims will be processed and existing claims will be stalled.
The Law Offices of Veterans Help Group continues to monitor the situation and keep our clients informed of the latest impact of the shutdown on their claims. We continue to do our best to push our existing claims through while the regular processing is conducted and hope that the shutdown does not impact our clients any further. Contact us today if you have questions regarding your existing claim or wish to file a new claim – 1-855-855-8992.