GAO’s reports and testimonies give Congress, federal agencies, and the public timely, fact-based, non-partisan information that can improve government operations and save taxpayers billions of dollars.
Veterans may receive disability benefits for injuries or illnesses related to their service. Typically, a veteran must prove the connection. For some disabilities, VA presumes connection to service.
The VA develops a list of presumptive conditions, in part, based on research.
The Department of Veterans Affairs is seeking to reduce the time veterans wait for decisions on disability claim appeals, which average 3 years for initial appeals.
Five new appeals options are scheduled to become available in February.
What GAO Found The number of veterans receiving Total Disability Individual Unemployability (TDIU) benefits has been increasing, as has the total amount of benefit payments, especially among older veterans.
What GAO Found The Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA)—within the Department of Veterans Affairs—measures and reports the accuracy of its disability compensation claim decisions in two ways: (1) by claim and (2) by disabling condition, though its approach has limitations.
What GAO Found GAO’s analysis showed that 59,251 individuals received concurrent payments from Department of Defense (DOD) retirement, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability, and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) in fiscal year 2013 totaling over $3.5 billion.
What GAO Found The Veterans Benefit Administration (VBA) within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) now measures and reports the accuracy of its claim decisions in two ways—by claim and by medical issue—but its approach has limitations.
What GAO FoundGAO found a number of factors--both external and internal to VBA--have contributed to the increase in processing times and subsequent growth in the backlog of veterans' disability compensation claims.
What GAO Found A number of factors—both external and internal to the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA)—have contributed to the increase in processing timeframes and subsequent growth in the backlog of veterans’ disability compensation claims.