VA Lost 120,000 Online Disability Claims

According to a recent article in the Military Times, more than 120,000 online disability claims were lost by the Department of Veterans Affairs (also known as the VA). While the department has worked quickly to try to fix the issue, tens of thousands of applications still remain in limbo.  Although this is a relatively small number of applications compared to the whole, VA leadership has said that it remains unacceptable, and some critics are worried about the scope of the problem.

What Happened to These Disability Claims?

More than 120,000 disability claims were found to have been lost after veterans submitted claims through the VA’s website. The majority of these claims appear to have been modifications of existing claims, mostly people attempting to change existing applications to add or remove dependents. While the VA has worked quickly to try to fix this issue, tens of thousands of veterans have still encountered technical problems when trying to apply for disability benefits online, with some claims having not been addressed for as long as a decade.

What Impact Did These Issues Have?

For most of the 14 million Americans who access the VA website every month, they likely would not have experienced many issues. However, some Veterans have struggled to have their applications accepted and processed, denying them access to benefits they would otherwise have been entitled to. In some cases, this has resulted in significant financial hardship that might have been avoided or alleviated if their disability claims had been handled properly.

What is Being Done to Address the Issues?

For its part, the VA has dedicated efforts to try to correct the problems that led to these disability claims being lost, with expectations that most will be handled within a few weeks. However, some critics, including members of the US Senate and House of Representatives, have suggested instituting additional oversight for these sorts of online application systems. This, they say, could prevent similar issues from arising in the future.

What Should You Do?

If you are looking to apply for veterans disability benefits, the best way to avoid potential problems is to speak to a lawyer with experience handling VA disability claims. They can help guide you through the process, and work to address any issues that may arise. That way, you can give yourself the best opportunity to get the benefits you deserve.

The attorneys of Sullivan & Kehoe place a special focus on assisting disabled veterans. Our veterans’ disability lawyers are still available for remote consultation on your legal issues. Call our office at (800) 395-7830 to schedule a consultation in our New York City, Garden City, Kings Park, Riverhead, or White Plains office, or visit our contact page.

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