19 Apr '13, 4pm

VA announces move to quickly reduce claims backlog

The Veterans Affairs Department will take unprecedented steps to reduce its large backlog of disability benefits claims by assigning “provisional” ratings to any claim that has been pending for one year or more. The move, announced Friday, would apply to claims filed by about 500,000 veterans and could dramatically cut the backlog of well over 800,000 pending claims. Allison Hickey, VA’s undersecretary for benefits, said assigning provisional ratings still would require basic information from veterans, such as proof of service, treatment records and perhaps a hastily arranged examination. The temporary rules would allow those with provisional ratings to avoid an appeals process that can add years to a claim. Such claims will be easily amendable for up to one year if a veteran discovers new evidence that would increase a disability rating, Hickey said. She could not say exa...

Full article: http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/article/20130419/BENEFITS...

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