VFW Files Suit Against VA
New claims procedure benefits the government, not veterans
May 07, 2015
WASHINGTON — The
Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States and Disabled American Veterans filed
a joint lawsuit yesterday to force the Department of Veterans Affairs to change
a new claims submission procedure that was created solely to benefit the VA,
main issue is the elimination of an informal claims process and the institution
of a rigid, veteran-unfriendly system for filing claims for benefits, among
several other disagreements, explained William L. Bradshaw, VFW director of
National Veterans Service, who oversees a nationwide cadre of more than 1,500
VA-accredited service officers who assist veterans with filing their VA claims.
any form of written communication would have served notice on the VA that
within one year, that veteran would be filing a formal claim for disability
compensation. If approved, the claim’s effective date could be backdated to the
day of the initial notification. As of March 24, the VA now no longer accepts
informal claims, and instead requires all veterans to use a standardized form,
which essentially postpones the effective date and denies compensation to
VFW doesn’t oppose the use of standardized forms,” said Bradshaw. “Our
opposition is to this all or nothing approach that VA is forcing on veterans —
changes, that if left in place, will guarantee in this year alone that tens of
thousands of service-connected wounded, ill and injured veterans will be denied
benefits they were entitled to before the change became effective.”
VFW, DAV, and other veterans’ service organizations fought against the change
after VA first proposed it in October 2013.
VA is once again changing the rules to make the claims process easier for them,
not for the veterans the VA was created to serve,” said Bradshaw, who added
that the new change makes it even more difficult on veterans who don’t
understand the process, and especially on those who do not avail themselves of
the expert and free claims assistance provided by the VFW and other
nationally-recognized and VA-accredited service officers.
VA’s move to a standardized form should not come at the cost of an informal
claims notification procedure that works,” he said. “The VA can and should
the lawsuit here.
The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is a nonprofit veterans service
organization comprised of eligible veterans and military service members from
the active, Guard and Reserve forces. Founded in 1899 and chartered by Congress
in 1936, the VFW is the nation's largest organization of war veterans and its
oldest major veterans organization. With nearly 1.9 million VFW and Auxiliary
members located in more than 6,800 Posts worldwide, “NO ONE DOES MORE FOR
VETERANS.” The VFW and its Auxiliaries are dedicated to veterans’ service,
legislative advocacy, and military and community service programs. For more
information or to join, visit our website at www.vfw.org.
Contact: Joe Davis,
Director of Public Affairs, VFW Washington Office, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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