Overdue for an Overhaul

Fixing the veterans disability system may be costly, but a special commission believes it is vital and long overdue. The Congressionally directed Veterans’ Disability Benefits Commission recently released its final report, the result of nearly three years work that included numerous site visits and consultations with veterans, their families, and veterans’ advocates. The commission’s chief conclusion: A total overhaul of the veterans’ disability rating schedule must be done, followed by systematic reviews. The 13 commissioners, all but one veterans themselves, urge Congress to pursue an immediate increase of up to 25 percent in compensation to offset a loss of quality of life for severely disabled veterans, while the VA implements a QOL measure in the rating schedule. They also want to eliminate dual—and competing—VA and DOD disability evaluation systems and free concurrent receipt. (Read more here.)