The American Legion will be testifying this week before the House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations on a variety of bills that would improve health care and benefits for veterans.
Among bills that Joshua Hastings, a veterans benefits policy analyst in the Legion’s Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation Division, will testify about H.R. 196, Expediting Temporary Ratings for Veterans Act.
The legislation would direct the VA Secretary to modify the department’s information technology systems to provide for the automatic processing of claims for certain temporary disability ratings. It would mandate the automatic processing of claims for temporary disability ratings no later than one year after the legislation’s enactment.
The issue stems from inefficiencies in the Veterans Benefits Administration’s processing of temporary disability ratings that have contributed to the backlog for more than a decade. In February 2013, the VA Inspector General reported inspections at VA Regional Offices “have continued to report systemic problems in VBA’s processing of temporary 100 percent disability ratings. We found inaccuracies in 66 percent of the cases we reviewed. These errors resulted in over $15.5 million in overpayments and almost $293,000 in underpayments.”
The hearing begins at 2 p.m. Wednesday. Use this link to view the hearing.