VA Processing Claims At Fastest Rate Ever
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has good news for veterans: claims are getting processed more quickly. In fact, the agency claims that it is processing claims at the fastest rate in history.
The VA hired more employees to process claims after hundreds of thousands of veterans have filed new claims in order to receive benefits under a new toxic exposure law. The PACT Act was passed in August 2022 in an effort to expand VA health care and benefits for veterans exposed to toxic substances during their time in service, such as burn pits and Agent Orange. The day after President Biden signed the bill into law, veterans set an all-time record for claims filed online.
As of November, more than 136,000 veterans have applied for benefits under the toxic exposure law. The VA is preparing for another deluge of clams, with more than 700,000 claims expected in the coming months as the agency encourages veterans and their families to file claims for benefits.
While the VA is hiring more employees, a backlog of claims could still happen in the near future. Still, the VA is in a better position to tackle this increased workload than it was in 2013, when the backlog swelled to more than 600,000 claims. With the VA moving to a paperless system and hiring thousands more employees, the agency is taking steps to prevent a significant backlog.
The VA has a lot of responsibility now. The agency must ensure each and every veteran who files a claim gets the correct decision as quickly as possible. With more and more veterans seeking medical care, the VA must also make sure they get quality care.
Still, the VA should be proud. The agency is reaching out to more than 300,000 veterans who have input their information into the burn pits registry. The VA has also held dozens of events to inform veterans about the new law. The VA has also started a standard toxic exposure screening and has already reached 166,000 veterans, with more than one-third reporting exposures.
The agency has gotten the backlog down to under 150,000 claims, which may seem like a lot, but it’s still the lowest number in years. Veterans affected by the toxic exposure law are encouraged to apply before August 10, 2023. They can apply on the VA’s website or with an accredited representative at a veterans service organization. More information is available online at va.gov/pact. Veterans can also call (800) 698-2411 to file a claim.
Learn More About Veterans Benefits
It’s great that veterans are getting their claims reviewed and processed more quickly. Still, backlogs can occur, which can be frustrating.
A White Plains veterans disability benefits lawyer from The Law Office of Michael Lawrence Varon can work with you to ensure you receive compensation quickly. To schedule a free consultation, fill out the online form or call 914-294-2145.