Recent Blog Posts

Veterans Line Up on Opposite Sides of H.R. 2288 — Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017

Veterans Line Up on Opposite Sides of H.R. 2288 — Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017

On May 23, the U.S. House of Representatives voted in favor of H.R. 2288 — the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017. This came weeks after DAV (Disabled American Veterans) national service director Jim Marszalek appeared before Congress to call for the bill’s passage. As Mr. Marszalek testified, “The new appeals framework developed… Read More »

Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017- Part 2

Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017 Blog Series: Part 2: Dockets at the Board of Veterans’ Appeals and Advancement on the Docket

As mentioned, in Part 1 of this series of blog posts on the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017, this blog will discuss two topics; Dockets at the Board of Veterans’ Appeals and Advancement on the Docket. If the bill is passed into law, there will be two separate dockets maintained at the… Read More »

Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017- Part 1

Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017 Blog Series: Part 1: Options for Appealing a Rating Decision

On Sunday, May 21st, the House Committee on Veterans Affairs (HVAC) passed H.R. 2288, the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017. If passed into law it will mean many changes for the VA and for our veterans. One notable revision is the options in which veterans may appeal their rating decision. The bill… Read More »

Veterans Groups Continue to Oppose Unlimited Choice

Veterans Groups Continue to Oppose Unlimited Choice

Testifying before the House and Senate Veterans’ Affairs committees, leaders of the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), and Disabled American Veterans expressed concern that too much outsourcing of healthcare under a new Choice program could undermine the mission of the VA. Some warned against “all-out privatization” that could eventually lead to the… Read More »

Armed Forces Day Honors Our Future Veterans

Armed Forces Day Honors Our Future Veterans

Just as Veterans Day is our occasion to honor all who wore a U.S. military uniform, and Memorial Day is when we remember warriors who made the ultimate sacrifice, Armed Forces Day  — today, May 20 — is our time to celebrate those men and women who currently serve our nation in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines,… Read More »

Drug Theft Plagues VA Hospitals

Drug Theft Plagues VA Hospitals

The Associated Press recently reported on federal investigations targeting opioid theft from VA medical centers throughout the country, which has been on the rise since 2009. The culprits are believed to be doctors, nurses, and pharmacy staff at the hospitals, who steal the drugs for their own use, to profit through street sales, or mismanage… Read More »

Veterans Continue to Wait Years for Claims Hearings

Veterans Continue to Wait Years for Claims Hearings

Veterans appealing a denial of VA benefits are currently waiting about five years for a determination, and if the present pace continues, vets 10 years from now could be waiting as long as 25 years for an answer. That’s the bottom line from a recent article by Luanne Rife of The Roanoke Times. Ms. Rife… Read More »

VA Backlog Growing Despite New Paperless Process

VA Backlog Growing Despite New Paperless Process

Why has the VA claim backlog grown from 76,000 cases in May 2016 to 101,000 cases this February despite a new paperless process that was supposed to speed claims decisions? At a recent hearing before the House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs, Ronald S. Burke, Jr., the assistant deputy undersecretary for… Read More »

Dr. David Shulkin, the new Secretary of Veterans Affairs

VA Secretary Shulkin Proposes “Choice 2.0”

In February, Dr. David Shulkin, the new Secretary of Veterans Affairs, spoke publicly for the first time on his plans to reduce red tape and make the VA more responsive to veterans’ needs. As reported in Stars and Stripes, Dr. Shulkin told an audience at the annual Disabled American Veterans conference in Arlington, Virginia, that… Read More »

Should the Veterans Choice Act Be Extended?

The Veterans’ Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act was considered controversial when it was passed in 2014 and has remained so during its implementation. This year, a key facet of the act, portability for veterans’ health benefits under the Choice program, is set to expire. The question is now whether Congress and… Read More »