When a person is sick or injured and is no longer able to work, he or she may be eligible to collect Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. This money is crucial in helping people cover medical expenses and replace a portion of their lost wages. However, veterans who are injured or sick as a result of their service to this country also may be eligible for relief from benefits available through Veterans Affairs.
But just like any other person looking to pursue this support, veterans are coming up against serious obstacles to obtaining benefits. There is a complicated application process, a lengthy appeals process and a system that is overwhelmed with claims. And these issues continue to plague veterans, even as the VA attempts to resolve problems with processing claims.
The VA has been struggling for quite some time with an enormous backlog of disability claims. Service members who have submitted a claim for a mental or physical injury were waiting months or longer just to find out if their claim was accepted or not. In an attempt to resolve the backlog, the former secretary of Veterans Affairs took steps to push through initial applications.
The steps appeared to be successful as the backlog of claims shrunk dramatically. But according to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, the faster claims processing move only created more people who were denied benefits. Now there is a significant increase in the number of people filing appeals, which is causing serious slow-downs for people who have gone through the appropriate steps to appeal an initial denial. Unfortunately, there is no quick fix for the notoriously slow system.
The process of applying for and receiving disability payments is far from perfect. In fact, it is a complicated, slow-moving system that can cause stress, anxiety and financial despair for those who cannot work and rely on these benefits. In order to ease some of this stress and make it more likely that applications and appeals are completed fully and as required, those seeking benefits may want to strongly consider speaking with an attorney familiar with SSDI and other types of disability benefits. Legal support can provide people with guidance, advice and experience and make the process a little easier.