Weatherford Democrat

Top News

April 28, 2013

VETERANS’ CORNER: VA moves to expedite veterans’ claims

By JIM VINES

The backlog of veterans claims processing has been disastrous over the past few years. On April 19, the Department of Veterans Affairs announced initiatives to expedite compensation claims decisions for veterans who have waited one year or longer.

VA claims raters will make provisional decisions on the oldest claims in inventory, which will allow veterans to begin collecting compensation benefits more quickly, if eligible. Veterans will be able to submit additional evidence for consideration a full year after the provisional rating, before the VA issues a final decision.

Too many veterans have waited too long for a decision on their benefits and the VA finds this to be unacceptable, and that is why the VA is implementing this aggressive plan to eliminate the backlog. This initiative is the right thing to do for veterans who have waited the longest.

Provisional decisions will be based on all evidence provided to date by the veteran or obtained on their behalf by the VA. If a VA medical examination is needed to decide the claim, it will be ordered and expedited.

Provisional decisions not only provide veterans with applicable benefits much more quickly, but also gives them an additional one-year safety net to to submit further evidence should it become available. The VA will consider a veterans additional evidence, in which case they will be fast-tracked.

If any increase is determined to be warranted based on the additional evidence received, benefits will be retroactive to the date the claim was initially filed. The evidence protects the veterans right to appeal the decision. If no further evidence is received within that year, VBA will inform the veteran that their rating is final and provide information on the standard appeals process, which can be found at www.bva.va.gov.

As a result of this initiative, metrics used to track benefits claims will experience significant fluctuations. The focus on processing the oldest claims will cause the overall measure of the average length of time to complete a claim, currently 286 days to skew, rising significantly in the near term because of the number of old claims that will be completed. Over time, as the backlog of oldest claims is cleared and more of the incoming claims are processed electronically through the VA’s new paperless processing system, the VA’s average time to complete claims will significantly improve. In addition, the average days pending metric, or average age of a claim in the inventory, will decease since the oldest claims will no longer be part of the inventory.

Text Only
Top News
  • students.jpg Is opting out an option?

    One local parent has taken it upon herself to make her voice heard. Michelle Osterkamp, who has two children attending Mary Martin Elementary, began to research the opt-out method after talking with some of her teacher friends.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Biz Index 1.jpg Let's get physical

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • EXTENSION NEWS: Take a mind vacation

    For many of us, every day has some sort of stress associated with it. Whether it is something at home or at work, it seems like there are a million things stressing us out and making us feel overwhelmed.

    April 20, 2014

  • VETERANS’ CORNER: Veterans’ needs the target of recent discussions

    Ministers responsible for Veterans Affairs and officials from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States completed a series of meetings April 8-11 at the United States Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., discussing the latest research, best practices and various areas of collaboration to address the growing needs of veterans.

    April 20, 2014

  • MILLSAP MATTERS: Reunion time approaches

    MILLSAP – For many people this is the time of year that reunions are held. In that light, Millsap alumni will be enjoying their annual school reunion on Saturday, April 26.

    April 20, 2014

  • larry jones cropped:color NOW HEAR THIS: The fox and the hound, plus Max

    Almost without exception, most farms are protected to some degree by guard animals. Dogs and cats are most commonly used to defend against intruders and nuisance pests around the farmstead. In recent years with the proliferation of coyotes, many folks are using guard donkeys or llamas to protect their livestock.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Laws can’t be ignored

    Senator Harry Reid said, “We just can’t let people ignore the law.”

    April 20, 2014

  • Taste of Parker County logo.jpg Canyon West to host Taste of Parker County

    Prepare your taste buds, because the sixth annual Taste of Parker County is just a few short weeks away, and this year’s event has moved to a larger location to accommodate even more great eats and treats.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0420 one USAF riders IMG_7940.jpg Riding high

    Members of the United States Air Force Cycling Team, preparing to participate in the 12th annual Ride for Heroes in Aledo Saturday, met Friday with their supporters — members of the Bush Legacy Republican Women of Weatherford — for a pre-ride photo shoot at the historic courthouse followed by pre-ride carbo loading at Milano’s in Willow Park.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • Grand jury indictments for April returned

    A Parker County grand jury on Thursday indicted a man accused of breaking into his neighbor’s home and threatening him with a BB gun before engaging in a brief standoff with deputies.

    April 19, 2014

Must Read
Top News
House Ads
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Poll

The City of Weatherford is considering an ordinance that would ban smoking inside restaurants and enclosed areas where food is prepared, sold or consumed. Do you agree with this proposal?

Yes
No
Undecided
Don't care
     View Results