House OKs revamp of VA appeals in bid to cut claims backlog

FILE - This Dec. 8, 2008, file photo shows the House Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington. A presidential speech to Congress is one of those all-American moments that ooze ritual and decorum. The House sergeant-at-arms will stand at the rear of the House of Representatives on Tuesday night and announce the arrival of Donald Trump before a joint session of Congress by intoning: “Mister Speaker, the President of the United States” just like always. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) – The House has approved legislation to cut the time it takes for the Department of Veterans Affairs to handle appeals from veterans unhappy with their disability payouts. It’s an effort to reduce a claims backlog without adding billions in government costs.

Currently, veterans could wait five years or more to resolve appeals.

The bill would allow veterans to file “express” appeals if they waive their right to a hearing or the ability to submit new evidence. The VA could test the new program for up to 18 months until the department was able to certify it was ready for a fuller rollout with enough money.

Lawmakers hope the legislation could ultimately reduce wait times to less than a year.

The vote was 418-0. It now goes to the Senate.

STORIES THAT OTHERS ARE CLICKING ON –

>> MORE TOP STORIES

WFLA.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s