Published On: Fri, Nov 1st, 2013

The Rahall Report

Rahall supports legislation for veterans

U.S. Rep. Nick J. Rahall (D-WV), member of the House Military Veterans Caucus, late Monday evening helped to secure passage of legislation to facilitate the processing of veterans’ disability claims.

“With Veterans Day approaching, we honor the men and women who have donned uniforms and put themselves in harm’s way for the rest of us by rededicating ourselves to their successful transition back to civilian life. I want our State’s veterans to know that I am doing all that I can to ensure their access to the care, benefits, and job opportunities they were promised when they return home,” said Rahall.

The legislation passed by the House, and cosponsored by Rahall, would require appeals forms to be sent to veterans when they are notified by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) about the denial of benefits. According to the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, such legislation would reduce the appeals process for veterans’ disability claims by up to 60 days and save the VA up to 50,000 man-hours. The House also passed legislation, cosponsored by Rahall, to authorize veterans’ benefits for each component of a claim while it is being adjudicated, so that veterans do not have to wait for the entire claim to be resolved before receiving a benefit.

“I continue to seek ways to address the disgraceful backlog of claims and ensure that our veterans’ benefits are not needlessly held up in a lengthy bureaucratic process. I want to help our Federal officials, many of whom are veterans themselves, to get the resources and tools they need to process these claims accurately and expediently,” said Rahall.

Rahall, who has been active and vocal in the House of Representatives on veterans’ issues, has cosponsored several measures to reduce the backlog of almost 850,000 veterans disability claims – a backlog that is forcing veterans to wait up to 305 days for their benefits to be processed.