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

Director

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.

Director

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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