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President Obama Releases $164 Billion Budget for Veterans

VA Spending Plan Doesn’t Address Growing Claim Appeal Backlog.  

On March 4, 2014, President Barack Obama and Secretary Eric Shinseki released their proposed  $163.9 billion budget for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for next fiscal year.  VA proposed budget includes $68.4 billion in discretionary spending for healthcare, plus a staggering $95.6 billion for mandatory spending such as disability compensation.

The President and Secretary plan to expand VA healthcare, eliminate the disability claims backlog (but only the new and reopened claims older than 125 days), plus end homelessness among Veterans.

However, VA’s budget does not address VA’s growing backlog of claim appeals, now at a new record of 273,235 as of March 17, 2014.

No mention is made by VA about the 422,542 award adjustments, most often adding a dependent to an existing claim.  VA’s budget remains silent on the 13,408 accrued claims pending, where the Veteran died while waiting on a VA rating decision.

The overall VA budget increase is more than six percent from last year.  VA’s proposed budget for 2014 was $153 billion, and in 2013, it was $140 billion.

To learn more about VA’s proposed 2015 budget, please visit VA’s web site: www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=2528

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