Exclusive: Is VA deliberately blocking disabled from benefits?

By Jamie Reno: The Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) proposal to force disabled veterans to use pre-printed VA forms when filing disability claims has sparked intense anger among veterans nationwide. VA says the goal of its new rule is to increase efficiency, speed, and quality for veterans. But a growing army of critics of the plan insists that with this proposal, VA wants to eliminate the notorious “backlog” of disability claims by blocking future claims and appeals. In an exclusive interview with Veteran Journal, Michael Zacchea, a board member at Veterans for Common Sense, a national veterans advocacy organization, said the proposed change could do great harm to America’s disabled veterans. “The scope of this proposal is enormous. If adopted, every year, hundreds of thousands of disabled veterans’ claims and appeals will get shot down by VA before the agency even reviews them,” Zacchea said. “VA proposes locking the doors on new claims and appeals while it processes the 1.4 million claims already gathering dust. The bitter pill for our veterans is that VA created this mess by not hiring and training enough staff.”