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New San Diego Hires Expected to Help Resolve Veterans’ Backlogged Claims

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The California Department of Veterans Affairs announced Friday that it is hiring a dozen staffers for its San Diego office to help reduce a backlog of claims that have kept some veterans waiting nearly two years.

According to the Center for Investigative Reporting, nearly 23,000 San Diego veterans are waiting for their disability claim to be processed.

The new hires were authorized by Gov. Jerry Brown's 2013-14 budget.

Claims representatives will review claims pending for 125 days or longer and work to make them fully developed and ready for VA rating. Once a claim has been adjudicated and a disability rating has been assigned, compensation or pension payments can be properly calculated and sent out to the veteran, according to the VA.

CalVet Secretary Peter J. Gravett said that by immediately reviewing claims that have been pending the longest and working forward, "we will reduce the waiting time veterans have had to face.''

To date, 14 of 36 positions authorized statewide, including a dozen in Los Angeles, have been filled, according to the VA.

San Diego VA Regional Office

Above: This graph shows data from the Department of Veterans Affairs Monday Morning Workload Reports compiled by the Center for Investigative Reporting.

Comments

Avatar for user 'spinebob'

spinebob | September 23, 2013 at 8:34 a.m. ― 1 year, 2 months ago

Unfortunately these new staffers will not help and are political fluff.
Here is why:
The VA is a federal cabinet agency, these new hires work for the state.
Once a veteran files a claim only a federal VA employee can touch it- period.
These state workers cannot touch claims already submitted- they can't help with the current backlog.
All these new state employees can do is ensure any NEW claims are submitted as completely as possible and this gathering of documents can take MONTHS.
A veterans claim is paid retroactively to the date he first files so it is in the veterans interest to file a claim and THEN start the evidence gathering processes, he or she can obtain a few extra months of disability compensation.
So what would you do if you were filing a claim, submit an initial claim and then gather all the evidence or wait months for a State employee to gather evidence and then submit a claim?
What if you were dying and only had months to live and were doing this for your family?
Unfortunately these new hires are powerless to intervene and effect existing claims.
You as a veteran are your own best advocate- file a claim yourself and THEN ask for help if needed.
A veteran also has a right to an attorney on appeal- a HUGE positive change in the VA claims process.

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