VA Working On Expanded Benefits For Veterans
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has been working tirelessly to expand benefits for veterans. The department has been focusing on efficiency to ensure that veterans have full access to the benefits they are entitled to receive. However, there have been some technological hiccups along the way.
The VA has been focused on expanding several areas of veterans benefits, including claims processing, toxic exposure benefits, electronic health record (EHR) program, and health equity. This means expanding the technology associated with those priorities to ensure a flow of information between the Defense Department and the VA. The ultimate goal is to standardize work flows and make them more consistent.
The VA is also working on expanding other benefits, such as Agent Orange. This means expanding the research and ensuring that the technology is in place to support them. This also means being proactive and looking at all the evidence received in claims as well as working with national academies to get advice and recommendations.
At the same time, there is a renewed sense of urgency. In some cases, requiring significant evidence for certain medical conditions makes no sense. That is why the VA is also starting to use presumptives, which allows the claims process to go a lot more smoothly. What this means is that, instead of requiring significant evidence for certain disabilities, the VA presumes that the conditions were caused by military service. This is true for certain situations such as Agent Orange, which is a herbicide used during the Vietnam War. Many veterans were exposed to it.
The increased technology should also aid in another key area: the VA’s huge claims backlog. Before COVID, the VA had a backlog of 70,000 claims. Once the pandemic hit, claims processing slowed down and even stopped. The backlog went as high as 210,000 claims. In the past six months, though, the backlog has dropped to 186,000. The backlog was caused by the need for disability exams.
The VA is also focusing on health equity for women and minority veterans, since they tend to receive less care than men and other racial groups. The goal of the Office of Women’s Health Services is to deliver safe, timely, and high-quality care.
Overall, the VA is focusing on inclusion and making sure there are no disparities when it comes to health care. Everyone should receive the same type of care, regardless of gender, race, and ethnicity. However, all the pieces need to work together, and this means making sure all the technology platforms are properly integrated and working properly.
Learn More About Veterans Benefits
Many veterans are frustrated about the benefits process. Many have served their country for years, only to not get the benefits they were promised.
The VA is working hard to approve claims and reduce the backlog. Need help with your claim? White Plains veterans benefits lawyer Michael Lawrence Varon can help. We can assess your situation and possibly help expedite the process. Schedule a free consultation by filling out the online form or calling 914-294-2145.