Archive | April, 2007

New York Times Weighs in on Backlogs

“… The most acute bottlenecks are at the appeals level, where the average processing time is now 515 days — compared with 274 days in 2000. Such delays are especially pernicious because slightly more than one-quarter of all approved claims are awarded after an appeal hearing, and nearly two-thirds of the people who appeal ultimately […]

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VA Begins to Clean Up Its Act on Disability Claims

The Army Times reports: Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England yesterday called for a new policy that moves wounded troops from Iraq and Afghanistan to the front of the line in the disability rating process while system-wide fixes to the disability and health care systems are put in place. See Full Story here:

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VA Disability Backlogs are the Nation’s Shame

Today’s Washington Post reports on the mounting number of unsettled claims in the VA Disability system: …Nearly 400,000 disability claims were pending as of February, including 135,741 that exceeded VA’s 160-day goal for processing them. The department takes six months, on average, to process a claim, and the waiting time for appeals averages nearly two […]

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More Stories of Long Waits for Benefits

From Today’s New York Times: WHEN a biting winter storm descended on the Coney Island Boardwalk one afternoon last month, whipping sand and trash into the air, a flock of seagulls lost no time in taking wing. But Patrick Garbiras, a gaunt, shambling, 51-year-old homeless man, could only do what he has been doing ever […]

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Look at the Faces of the Homeless

In my years at Social Security, I have worked with many homeless people and I am often surprised when they tell me about their lives before they were homeless. One of these homeless men had been a world champion boxer. There was a former police officer. Another was a TV weather personality. I remember a […]

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