Earlier today, Dr. Dan Benishek (MI-01) announced a plan to address the Veterans Administration (VA) benefits backlog, by encouraging a seamless transition for veterans into the VA system, streamlining the claims process, and improving access to VA facilities for veterans.
"As a doctor who worked in a VA hospital for 20 years, I understand the frustration our veterans have about the bureaucracy of the VA," said Dr. Benishek. "Our brave men and women in uniform make immeasurable sacrifices to defend our country each and every day. It's our duty to do everything we can to ensure that these heroes receive the quality care they deserve when they return home."
One aspect of Dr. Benishek's plan aims to expedite a seamless transition from service member to veteran, thus simplifying and streamlining the process of receiving benefits. Dr. Benishek looks forward to discussing his plan to address the backlog during two veterans' roundtable meetings in Charlevoix and Iron Mountain during the week of May 21, 2012.
"I'm looking forward to sharing this plan with our local veterans. I value their input and am eager to work on these initiatives," added Dr. Benishek, Michigan's sole representative on the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs.
Currently, 66 percent of VA disability compensation claims are more than 125 days old and deemed "backlogged." In the Detroit Regional VA Office, which processes disability claims for Michigan veterans, the average time required to complete a claim is 15 to 18 months.