WASHINGTON – As part of its ongoing effort to accelerate the elimination of the disability compensation claims backlog, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is mandating overtime for claims processors in its 56 regional benefits offices. The surge, which will be implemented through the end of fiscal year 2013, will be targeted to eliminating the backlogged status of claims. The additional overtime hours that will be worked during this period will be used to help eliminate the backlog with continued emphasis on high-priority claims for homeless veterans and those claiming financial hardship, the terminally ill, former Prisoners of War, Medal of Honor recipients, and veterans filing Fully Developed Claims.
Last month, the VA announced an initiative to expedite compensation claims decisions for veterans who have waited one year or longer. On April 19, VA began prioritizing claims decisions for veterans who have been waiting the longest, by providing provisional decisions that allow eligible veterans to begin collecting compensation benefits quickly. With a provisional decision, a veteran has a year to submit additional information to support a claim before the decision becomes final.
Veterans can learn more about disability benefits on the joint Department of Defense—VA web portal eBenefits at http://www.ebenefits.va.gov.
More information about filing Fully Developed Claims is available at: http://www.benefits.va.gov/transformation/fastclaims/