Two weeks ago, President Trump's nominee for Secretary of Veterans Affairs was confirmed by the Senate. David Shulkin, M.D. is the new Secretary, having previously served as the Under Secretary for Health. More information/background on him can be found here.
Each time a new Secretary is confirmed, I am hopeful. I am hopeful that this individual will have the courage to make the sweeping changes which the VA so desperately needs. Specifically, I am hopeful that the new Secretary can do something to cut the enormous delays in providing benefits to our wounded veterans.
I will give Dr. Shulkin a chance to make some changes. However, I am cautious as he is not an outsider, having been employed by the VA since 2015, without many substantive changes having been made under his watch.
Like many of you, I sit here and listen while our two main presidential candidates bicker about who said what and who is the most corrupt. Unfortunately, neither has a concrete plan to address Veterans issues.
While I don't agree with everything in this article, it is a good reminder that the VA is a bureaucracy, and that it spends money just to spend money, without supporting the Veterans it is supposed to help.
I agree with the author that purchases of ridiculous artwork needs to stop until all of our Veterans needs are taken care of. Or, until at least the appeal time is cut in half.
One of the first tasks I have as an attorney when I represent a veteran or their family is to obtain a copy of their "c-file." The c-file is a copy of their VA record, which should include their service medical records, VA treatment records, procedural claim history, and other important documents.
Most of the time, Veterans do not have their own copy of the file. Unfortunately, the VA is incredibly slow at processing a request for a Veteran's file. Many times, it can take 6-12 months to get a copy of the file. Due to these delays, I have filed a federal lawsuit asking the Federal Courts to order the VA to produce c-files in a timely manner. I am optimistic that this suit (and others filed around the country) will encourage the VA to speed up the process times.
Finally, many times the c-file is incomplete or missing important documents. In those cases, it is important that your attorney fully review the file. All of my file reviews are personally done by me to ensure that I know exactly what evidence we need to win the claim.
Veterans have been continuously promised the delays and backlog in processing claims would be eliminated. Since I began assisting clients, I hear every year form the VA how they are trying to eliminate the severe delays. Unfortunately, the delays still exist.
|Veterans Law Attorney Maxwell Kinman||
Veterans Law Blog