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 March 4, 2015

News: Pentagon: Another BRAC will save money - Pentagon planners have a new pitch to lawmakers skeptical of a fresh round of base closings: We promise we’ll save money this time.   Business: China’s new C919 will begin test flights this year - China’s new superjet will take to the skies for the first time later this...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Jensen Stidham

World War II pilot reunited with P-47

Air Force photograph by SrA. Jensen Stidham Retired Air National Guard Chief Warrant Officer 2 Robert Hertel, laughs while under the wing of a P-47 Thunderbolt during the Heritage Flight Training and Certification Course Feb. 2...
 
 

News Briefs March 4, 2015

General: 8,500 Islamic State fighters killed in Iraq so far The U.S.-led military coalition in Iraq has killed more than 8,500 Islamic State fighters since its bombing campaign began in August, the top general overseeing the coalition said March 3. Army Gen. Lloyd Austin, the commander of U.S. Central Command, said the Islamic State, which...
 

 
Lockheed Martin photograph

Turning up the heat

Lockheed Martin photograph Lockheed Martin ATHENA laser weapon system defeats a truck target by disabling the engine, demonstrating its military effectiveness against enemy ground vehicles. Latest evolution of Lockheed Martin l...
 
 

USO Visit

Air Force photograph by Jet Fabara Actor Vince Vaughn speaks with Edwards Airmen and 412th Security Forces Squadron members at the base library before introducing an advance screening of his new movie, “Unfinished Business,” at the base theater Feb. 28.
 
 

Sikorsky S-97 RAIDERô team begins final assembly of second aircraft

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp., announced March 4 the start of final assembly of the second S-97 RAIDERô helicopter at the company’s Development Flight Center. Along with a team of industry suppliers, Sikorsky is developing two RAIDERô prototypes to demonstrate the revolutionary new capabilities in improved maneuverability and flight speed. The...
 




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>