Veterans

May 17, 2013

VA requiring employees to work overtime

More than 10,000 workers who handle disability claims at the Department of Veterans Affairs will be required to work at least 20 hours of overtime each month in an effort reduce a sizable backlog, the department announced May 15.

The overtime requirement will last through September and comes as many federal workers face furloughs because of mandatory budget cuts. The VA was exempt from those spending reductions.

“We need to surge our resources now to help those who have waited the longest and end the backlog,” said Allison Hickey, undersecretary for benefits at the VA.

The VA has come under fire from veterans groups and members of Congress for the number of claims pending longer than 125 days. About 570,000 disability claims fall into that category, nearly two-thirds of all claims pending.

The advocacy group Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America said the VA’s announcement was good to see, but it also emphasized that more was needed and renewed a call for President Barack Obama to get more directly involved.

“Bringing the backlog down to zero will not be achieved piecemeal, and unfortunately there is no sign that the administration will bring together VA, DOD and other agencies to develop a sustainable plan to address the structural problems that have created the backlog,” said Paul Rieckhoff, the group’s CEO and founder. “Instead of chipping away around the edges, veterans need a comprehensive strategy.”

Veterans receive disability compensation for injuries and illness incurred or aggravated during their active military service. The amount of the compensation is based on a rating assigned by the VA.

The VA announcement was the second in the past month designed to help veterans with longstanding disability claims. It recently announced that it would be expediting claims decisions for veterans who had been waiting more than a year. Veterans whose claims are granted would get compensation immediately. Veterans whose claims are denied will have a year to submit more information before the VA makes a final decision.

The department has made some progress in recent weeks on claiming pending longer than 125 days. The backlog for such claims is now down about 1,000 from where it was at this time last year.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines January 23, 2015

News: Two Marines identified in deadly California helo crash - Two Marine Corps officers killed when their helicopter crashed during a training exercise in the Southern California desert were remembered Jan. 25 as talented pilots. Greek F-16 crashes in Spain during NATO exercise - Ten people died Jan. 26 after a Greek air force F-16 jet crashed...
 
 

News Briefs January 26, 2015

Navy wants to increase use of sonar-emitting buoys The U.S. Navy is seeking permits to expand sonar and other training exercises off the Pacific Coast, a proposal raising concerns from animal advocates who say that more sonar-emitting buoys would harm whales. The Navy now wants to deploy up to 720 sonobuoys about 12 miles off...
 
 
Air National Guard photograph by SSgt. Annie Edwards

ANG conducts air refueling training with NATO allies in Germany

Air National Guard photograph by SSgt. Annie Edwards A NATO E-3A AWACS aircraft approaches a Utah Air National Guard KC-135R Stratotanker for air refueling during a training flight over Germany on Jan. 13, 2015. Nearly 30 airme...
 

 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Armando A. Schwier-Morales

Ramstein Airmen train with French air force

Air Force photograph by SrA. Armando A. Schwier-Morales Two U.S. Air Force pilots and a French air force navigator discuss the route to the drop zone during a simulated low-level drop Jan. 21, 2015, at Orleans – Bricy Air...
 
 

Marines receive first F-35C Lightning II carrier variant

The first F-35C Lightning II, carrier variant, for the U.S. Marine Corps touched-down on the flight line at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., Jan. 13, from the Lockheed Martin plant in Fort Worth, Texas, to begin training in support of carrier-based operations. U.S. Marine Lt. Col. J.T. Ryan, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 501 detachment commander...
 
 

VA announces single regional framework under MyVA initiative

The Department of Veterans Affairs announced Jan. 26 that it is taking the first steps under the MyVA initiative to realign its many organizational maps into one map with five regions to better serve Veterans. The new regions under the MyVA alignment will allow VA to begin the process of integrating disparate organizational boundaries into...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>