Veterans Disability Benefits: Clearer Information for Veterans and Additional Performance Measures Could Improve Appeal Process

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Description

A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has struggled to provide timely reviews for veterans who appeal decisions on their disability compensation claims. A veteran appeals to the VA regional office that made the initial decision, and if still dissatisfied, to the Board of Veterans Appeals (Board). An appeal to the Board adds more than 2 years, on average, to the wait for a decision on the appeal. To resolve more appeals at the regional level and avoid waits at the Board, VA, in 2001, established the ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. September 29, 2011.

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Description

A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has struggled to provide timely reviews for veterans who appeal decisions on their disability compensation claims. A veteran appeals to the VA regional office that made the initial decision, and if still dissatisfied, to the Board of Veterans Appeals (Board). An appeal to the Board adds more than 2 years, on average, to the wait for a decision on the appeal. To resolve more appeals at the regional level and avoid waits at the Board, VA, in 2001, established the Decision Review Officer (DRO) review as an alternative to the traditional regional office appeal review. A DRO is given authority to grant additional benefits after reviewing an appeal based on a difference of opinion with the original decision. In contrast, under the traditional review, new evidence is generally required for a grant of additional benefits. GAO examined (1) the extent to which veterans choose a DRO review, (2) outcomes for DRO reviews, and (3) VA's challenges in managing DROs. GAO analyzed Board data, surveyed managers in all 57 regional offices, visited 4 offices, and interviewed veterans."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • September 29, 2011

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Veterans Disability Benefits: Clearer Information for Veterans and Additional Performance Measures Could Improve Appeal Process, report, September 29, 2011; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc301023/: accessed December 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.