HVAC to Examine VA Disability Benefits Claims Appeal Process


WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Tuesday, June 18th, the Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs (DAMA), which Congressman Runyan chairs, will hold a hearing to examine the appeals process for Department of Veterans Affairs disability benefits claims.
According to a 2012 report from VA’s Board of Veterans Appeals, VA takes nearly 270 days to process disability benefits compensation claims.  Even more alarming, however, is the turnaround time for VA’s claims appeal decisions, which average nearly three years.  Subsequent appeals to the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims or the Federal Circuit could take twice as long.
“Since coming to Congress, fixing the veterans’ claims backlog has been one of my top priorities,” said Rep. Runyan.  “It is unacceptable that our veterans, who have sacrificed so much to protect our nation, are forced to wait years before they are offered a decision on their appeals claim.  Although DAMA has held numerous hearings regarding this issue, I am hopeful that tomorrow’s panel will shed additional light on this very serious problem.”
The purpose of this hearing is to examine why VA’s disability benefits claims appeal process is failing and what VA can do to fix it.  The panelists for tomorrow’s hearing are listed below:
Panel 1

Mr. Keith Wilson
Roanoke Regional Office
Veterans Benefits Administration
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Ms. Laura Eskenazi
Principal Deputy Vice Chairman
Board of Veterans’ Appeals
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Mr. Ronald S. Burke, Jr.
Appeals Management Center
National Capital Region Benefits Office
Veterans Benefits Administration
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
The Honorable Bruce E. Kasold
Chief Judge
U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims


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