Stars and Stripes reports that several veterans advocate groups have filed a lawsuit to stop the VA from changing the way veterans file disability claims and appeals. The Department of Veterans Affairs recently did away with a long-standing system that allowed veterans to file informal claims to notify the department of their intent to file a claim or appeal — even a handwritten note on a scrap of paper would do. By doing that, the veteran ensured any compensation awarded would be backdated to when they filed the informal claim. Under the new system, veterans must file their claim through standard paperwork or register an intent to file through an 800 number. Veterans advocates say the change could unduly harm older and disabled veterans. The lawsuit was joined by American Legion, AMVETS, Military Order of the Purple Heart, the National Veterans Legal Services Program and the Vietnam Veterans of America. For more information, visit the National Veterans Legal Services Program website.
For more on veteran programs, visit the Military.com Benefits Center.