As your readers may know, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has come under fire for delays with veterans’ benefits and care at its facilities.
While I have already called for a criminal investigation into wrongdoing at the VA, I am writing to inform readers of my bill that would enact a common-sense solution to ensure veterans are not left waiting for claims.
Currently, New York veterans wait an average of 297 days to receive disability compensation and benefits, a timetable that falls short of the 125-day goal the VA has set for filling these claims.
This is unacceptable.
That is why I introduced the Veterans Backlog Reduction Act. This bill would give provisional benefits to veterans filing for disability if a claim has not been processed within 125 days.
The provisional benefit would be based on what a veteran with a similar disability receives or would be calculated based on a 40 percent disability rating.
Put simply, this legislation would ensure no veteran filing a claim has to wait more than 125 days for the benefits they have earned.
To date, my office has recovered more than $7.4 million in back pay and owed benefits to my constituents by cutting through the red tape at the VA. If you or a veteran you know needs help with a VA benefits claim, please make my office your first resource.
You can reach my office at 718-875-1675, 516-505-1448 or 631-777-7391. We are eager to help.