June 11, 2008
Washington, D.C. -- Congressman Steve Chabot today introduced the Veterans Disability Benefits Claims Modernization Act to help disabled veterans receive the compensation they are entitled to in an efficient and reliable manner.
“Our men and women in uniform dedicate their lives to serving this nation,” said Congressman Chabot. “We owe it to them to ensure that there is a timely and uniform process that treats the veterans in Ohio and across the nation in a fair and just manner, particularly those who have suffered life-altering injuries and disabilities as a result of their service.”
Earlier this year, the Veterans Benefit Administration released a report reviewing the distribution of veterans’ compensation and benefit payments on a state-by-state basis. According to the report’s findings, Ohio ranked second to last in the nation in payments awarded to disabled veterans. In particular, the report found that a veteran residing in Ohio had the potential to receive $4,800 less in disability compensation than a similarly situated veteran residing in New Mexico.
Reasons for this disparity include varying interpretations of disability levels by rating specialists, poor agency standards and inadequate training among regional offices. The State of Ohio is home to over 1 million veterans, of which approximately 85,000 receive disability compensation benefits.
“The differences in benefits awarded to disabled veterans are outrageous, and we need to find out why this is happening. We also need to look into why processing these claims takes so long. Those are things that Congressman Chabot’s bill will do,” Congressman Dave Hobson said.
Chabot’s legislation seeks to bring more consistency, fairness and uniformity to the veterans disability program to help ensure veterans are properly cared for. The Veterans Disability Benefits Claims Modernization Act would require the Department of Veterans Affairs to thoroughly evaluate the ratings schedule as well as the interpretation and lack of consistency at VA facilities throughout the country and enact a plan that will better care for our veterans.
“Steve has long been a champion for Ohio veterans,” said Congressman Jim Jordan. “I’m glad to join him in this important effort to address this disparity and make sure the federal government is keeping its promises to those who served.”