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More Than 250,000 Veterans Wait Four Years for VA Claim Appeal Decisions

Bergmann & Moore Aggressively Represents Veterans.  

Summer 2013 brought rare cold temperatures to Washington, DC.  However, the weather can’t cool a red-hot spotlight that remains targeted on the beleaguered Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), even with Congress and reporters on vacation.

Why is there continuing and intense heat from Congress, reporters, and Veteran service organizations?  The answer is simple:  VBA’s claim delay and error crisis continues, notwithstanding repeated promises of imminent reform from the government.

Washington Examiner Investigation

The headline for the August 20 story written by investigative journalist Mark Flatten at the Washington Examiner says it all: “VA progress on claims backlog is a statistical illusion, vets groups say.”

The major Veteran service organizations expressed serious doubts about VBA’s ability to meet the agency’s two promises by the year 2015: all Veterans’ disability claims processed within 125 days, and a two percent VA error rate.

Voicing reasonable skepticism, Bergmann & Moore partner Glenn Bergmann was quoted by the Washington Examiner:

     VA is “playing a numbers game,” Bergmann said of VA. “They get credit for making a decision.”

According to VA’s Office of the Inspector General, VBA’s decisions are wrong 30 percent of the time for high-risk claims, often causing Veterans to appeal.

Glenn Bergmann also discussed that fact that 254,000 pending appeals are excluded from VA’s count of the infamous “backlog” of claims.  When appeals are added to the 774,000 new and re-opened claims pending, the total inventory exceeds more than one million.   And waiting is the worst part, as new claims average one year to complete, and appeals average up to four more years to complete.

Reno Dispatch Blogs

The web sites of Veteran service organizations and Veterans are ablaze with articles about VBA’s claim delay and error crisis. 

The high-profile blog, Reno Dispatch, written by Jamie Reno, asks, “Is Senate Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Downplaying the VA Backlog Crisis?

The former Newsweek reporter wrote another blog asking, “Has the Obama Administration Been Good or Bad for Veterans?

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