Will Veterans Disability Benefits to be Overhauled?

The Problem: There has been a lot of talk recently about the quality of care that wounded veteran’s are receiving upon their return from the war front. There are also many veterans who feel they are either not getting the care they deserve, or are not getting a military disability rating they feel they qualify for. The disability rating is very important because it affects the amount of monthly compensation the veteran receives – VA Disability Compensation Table.

The problem is so bad that is a group of war-injured veterans filed a class action lawsuit against the US Government for denying them disability pay and mental health treatment.

The suit claims that numerous VA practices violate the constitutional and statutory rights of veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) by denying veterans adequate procedural safeguards in the VA benefits process, access to the judicial process, mandated medical care, and VA benefits as a result of their PTSD.

This lawsuit is the first of its kind, and is a reflection of how badly the VA needs additional resources to help cope with the strains put onto the veteran’s health care system. According to the article, there is currently a backlog of over 600,000 disability claims awaiting approval. There are many factors leading to these problems including the fact that the Department of Defense (DoD) and the VA both work toward setting disability ratings. The process can take several months and in some cases well over a year. In the mean time, many troops do not receive any care at all.

For more information, you can read the full complaint.





Possible Solution? Now, for some good news about VA-DoD Reforms. The President’s Commission on Care for America’s Returning Wounded Warriors recently released a report with recommendations to make “fundamental changes” including overhauling the veterans disability system for the first time in more than 50 years. The changes would place all responsibility for determining and awarding disability to the VA.

The bottom line for these efforts:

Disabled service members would see the current confusing, parallel systems of ratings and compensation replaced by a single, simple and more generous system.

If the changes put forth in the recommendations by The President’s Commission on Care for America’s Returning Wounded Warriors take place, disabled veterans would still qualify for VA health care, but any service member found unfit for duty from combat-related injuries also would be eligible for lifetime TRICARE coverage.

The Commission makes many positive recommendations, and hopefully the majority of them will go through. Our nation’s best deserve it. Read the full report here: Serve, Support, Simplify. Report of the President’s Commission on Care for America’s Returning Wounded Warriors July 2007.




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Date published: November 17, 2007. Last updated: December 7, 2012.

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Ryan Guina is the founder and editor of this site. He is a writer, small business owner, and entrepreneur. He served over 6 years on active duty in the USAF and is currently serving in the IL Air National Guard. He also writes about money management, small business, and career topics at Cash Money Life. You can also see his profile on Google.

Comments

  1. We need to stop paying disability benefits to veterans for “so called disabilities” that have nothing to do with military service and pay combat veterans who have been injured more and put more money toward their care and treatment. I am sure that a veteran who lost a limb due to a IED explosion, would find it disturbing that veterans who never served in combat get disability pay for sleep apnea, hysterectomy,strains or depression…it disturbs me

  2. Robert Deming says:

    Many of the benefits claimed by veterans is fraud. I have been in the system since September 6, 1969 and I am 100%.

    There are many claims for PTSD that are prepared by veterans that are collecting disability for PTSD. You can find these guys on the internet. They charge a fee to help you file. They tell you what to say to the doctors. The tell you how to act and give lessons on crying in front of the doc. These guys take a cut of the back pay the vet gets when he is approved.

    I know a person that is submitting a claim for PTSD and there is nothing wrong with him. He has worked the same job for 25 years and has hardly missed a day. He has been coached by a doctor.

    I feel that it is our responsibility to report these people for fraud. It is taking money out of the system that could be used for actual illnesses.

    The person that I am discussing has been reported to the Regional Office of the VA where I live.

    Robert Deming
    USMC 66-69 (Sgt E-5)

  3. Laura Jumper says:

    I agree with the last two comments. My husband has a rating of 50 percent, although he never saw combat. He does not take the medication for his high blood pressure and why the Army is responsible for that I don’t know. He had knee surgery while in the service but his knee was injured years ago. There are much more deserving service members that deserve disability.

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