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Improve transition policy to help veterans

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Daniel Pessoa
June 11, 2010

In my studies regarding Veteran Transition Policy, I learned that the biggest problem veterans face in the transition process is the massive backlog of appeals in benefitsí claims. The backlog has grown so massive that it can take years for a claim to even be considered.


Everyone interviewed agreed unanimously that the appeals system needs to be reformed, but the method by which this can be accomplished varied among the people I interviewed. Three principal methods were mentioned more than any others. Automation of the claims process, many believed, will be key to speed up the claims process and improve efficiency dramatically. Lately, many new employees have been hired to help combat the massive backlog in VA claims, but they are not being trained well enough to properly evaluate the claims. So it was suggested to me repeatedly that the quality of the claim review process must be improved so veterans do not need to appeal multiple times and to help eliminate the backlog.


Lastly, to prevent documentation errors in the claims process for the future, it will be necessary that a digital record be kept of a service memberís health records from the time the person enters the service to the day the person leaves it.


Proper care for veteransí disabilities and other service-connected conditions would also dramatically lower homelessness and unemployment among our nationís veterans.


During my time in Washington, D.C., I learned that Veteran Transition Policy, though not officially, is incredibly bipartisan. Everyone agrees that we owe a great debt to our nationís veterans for the prices they have paid to protect our freedom, and it is vital that we improve their transition from active duty back to civilian life.


Daniel Pessoa wrote this as part of Washington Seminar at Janesville Parker High School.

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