The official blog of American Veteran Magazine, the national quarterly publication of AMVETS.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

AMVETS Helps Veterans With VA Claims


VA backlog has continued to be a problem as veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts are filing more claims. In mid-June, VA had 870,000 pending cases; 66 percent, or 574,200 cases, had been pending for more than 125 days. In June 2011, VA was processing 836,000 claims with 59 percent pending for more than 125 days. These statistics show that VA is not improving the waiting time for claims and leaves veterans frustrated.

AMVETS is here to help! We currently have 53 national service officers in the field, who are trained in all aspects of veterans’ benefits and are aware of the changes in policies, procedures and entitlements. Our service officers are stationed at VA Regional Offices and Medical Centers, and provide services at no cost to the veteran.

On July 17, 2012, an article written by Hope Hodge discussed VA’s backlog and further criticized veterans service organizations for not addressing the needs of younger veterans who are filing claims. The article can be seen here: http://www.humanevents.com/2012/07/17/veterans-administration-is-hopelessly-broken/

“Their [veterans service organizations] job is to represent the veterans, and they ought to be clear and aggressive about whether they think this generation of veterans is getting the care they need in the way they need it, in a timely and convenient manner,” comments Newt Gingrich in Hodge’s article.

AMVETS main mission is to represent and serve veterans, and through our national service officers we help veterans break through the mountain of paperwork and bureaucracy of the VA claims process. Veterans need an advocate within VA and we fill this position with pride and determination to process claims as efficiently as possible.

In 2011, AMVETS NSOs filed 89,929 claims for benefits. A further breakdown of these claims shows that AMVETS helped with: 67,307 compensation claims; 11,021 were reopened claims; 3,449 pension claims; 1,666 death claims; and 6,486 education claims. When comparing claims from the first and second quarter of 2012 with the same time period in 2011, it is clear that AMVETS continues to make progress on behalf of veterans.

Type of Claim Action
2012
(1 & 2 Quarter)
2011
(1 & 2 Quarter)
Compensation Claims
29,788
29,566
Reopened Claims
3,837
6,072
Pension Claims
1,687
2,252
Ratings Reviewed
8,444
8,696
Recovery
$204,658,916
$156,435,887

Looking at the figures above, it is obvious that AMVETS has increased the amount of money we recover for veterans over the past year, as well as the number of compensation claims we processed so far this year. AMVETS is actively working to ensure that veterans receive the benefits they deserve and are entitled to. While the backlog of VA claims seems intimidating and certainly needs to be eliminated, AMVETS continues to work with VA, yet focuses on its first priority: veterans.

To locate your nearest AMVETS National Service Officer, visit http://www.amvets.org/locate-service-officer/.


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