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 September 29, 2014

News: U.S. military limits warplanes used for Islamic State bombings - The U.S. is relying mostly on warplanes already positioned in the region for its air war against the Islamic State, as opposed to dispatching a major buildup of aerial forces that happened in previous campaigns.   Business: At DOD, it’s use-it-or-lose-it season - As fiscal 2014...
 
 

News Briefs September 29, 2014

Navy awards ship design grant to UNO The University of New Orleans has received a $210,000 grant from the Navy s Office of Naval Research to test information gathering and analysis techniques intended to improve warship design. The goal for warship designers is to produce a vessel that can be repurposed numerous times throughout its...
 
 
Courtesy photograph

TACP-M ties it all together

Air National Guard photograph by SSgt. Lealan Buehrer Tactical air control party specialists with the 169th Air Support Operations Squadron survey an enemy-controlled landing zone before calling in close-air support Aug. 14, 20...
 

 
Air Force photograph by A1C Thomas Spangler

Nellis aggressor squadron inactivated

Air Force photograph by A1C Thomas Spangler SSgt. Justin White signals to Maj. Sam Joplin to begin taxiing a 65th Aggressor Squadron F-15 Eagle to the runway Sept. 18, 2014, at Nellis Air Force Base Nev. The roles and responsib...
 
 
Army photograph by SSgt. Mary S. Katzenberger

82nd Airborne helps commemorate 70th Anniversary of Operation Market Garden

Army photograph by SSgt. Mary S. Katzenberger A paratrooper assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division, reflects near the grave of a British paratrooper at the Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery, Sept. 14, 2014, in the Netherlands. The...
 
 

Raytheon awarded $251 million Tomahawk missile contract

The U.S. Navy has awarded Raytheon a $251 million contract to procure Tomahawk Block IV tactical cruise missiles for fiscal year 2014 with an option for 2015. The contract calls for Raytheon to build and deliver Tomahawk Block IV cruise missiles to the U.S. Navy and U.K. Royal Navy. Raytheon will also conduct flight tests...
 




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>