Veteranclaims’s Blog

October 22, 2009

VA Board gets 4 New Judges

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — veteranclaims @ 1:10 am

While I am not gripping here, but I mean just 4 more BVA judges. Given that 60 handled 48,804 cases in 2009 or 813 cases per judge, that means that the 4 new judges will reduce the 1 million backlog by 3,253 next year.

That is helpful but nowhere near what needs to be done. Especially when veterans are dying everyday while awaiting decisions on their claims, which without a service-connection they can not receive long term medical care for that disability.

Not to mention that the VA gets it wrong 90% of the time when they first adjudicate a claim and vets are forced to undergo th e 4-10 year delay of appeals and remands.

President Obama fix this, you are a lawyer and understand the sysytem, fix it, PLEASE!

Full Article at: Secretary Announces Expansion of Veterans Appeals Board
Wed Oct 21, 2009 12:02pm EDT

WASHINGTON Oct. 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki announced the addition of four new Veterans Law Judges to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (BVA), which will enable the board to increase the number of cases being decided.

“Veterans have earned the right to prompt, exhaustive and professional review of their claims for benefits,” Secretary Shinseki said. “This expansion of BVA will enable Veterans to receive more expeditious decisions on their appeals.”

BVA is an appeals body to which Veterans, their dependents or their survivors can go when they are not satisfied with decisions about claims for benefits administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). BVA reviewsdecisions on benefit claims made by local VA offices and issues decisions on appeals. The board currently has 60 Veterans Law Judges.

These law judges are attorneys experienced in Veterans law and in reviewing benefit claims. They are the only ones who can issue BVA decisions. Staff attorneys, also trained in Veterans law, review the facts of each appeal and assist the board members.

In fiscal year 2008, the board decided 43,757 appeals and handled 48,804 cases in fiscal year 2009. Most of the cases involve claims for disability compensation and pensions.

“We must foster a responsive approach when we consider Veterans,” Shinseki said. “Reducing the backlog of benefits decisions and waiting times are essential to providing our Veterans and their families with the service they deserve.”

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