American Legion Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation Assistant Director Ian de Planque recently briefed congressional legislative assistants in the Senate about the VA claims process. In conjunction with Ron Abrams of the National Veterans' Legal Services Program, de Planque explained the overall claims process, what happens in the case of a congressional inquiry into a veteran's claim, and how to contact Legion department service officers in cases where additional attention and information may be warranted.
Congressional offices receive many inquiries from veterans frustrated with the claims process and looking for additional insight and/or pressure from their representatives and senators into VA's adjudication of their claims. Because the claims process can be quite complicated and the legislative assistants are laymen in this field, The American Legion can provide insight so that they can better understand the claims process and what might be going on with a veteran's claim. This enables them to better discern what communications from VA about these claims are providing in terms of information.