Congresswoman Tells Veterans’ Advocates About New Initiatives to Speed Up the VA Appeals Process and to Prevent Vet Suicides

Representative Dina Titus (D-Nev) says it is time for “significant action” on reforming the VA appeals process which she characterized as “broken”.  Outlining her proposed legislation designed to reform the process, she told a conference for VA disability lawyers and representatives “[the] key to this new appeals process is providing veterans multiple options to get speedier decisions on their claims.”  Currently, veterans wait four years on average to complete the appeals process. “The new system reduces bureaucratic burdens while preserving the rights of veterans,” she said.

In a second initiative, Representative Titus is sponsoring new legislation directing the VA to review veteran suicide deaths over the past five years and study if there is any correlation between those deaths and psychiatric drug prescriptions. “Data suggest that every 65 minutes a veteran takes his or her own life,” Rep. Titus said.  “This is unacceptable. One way to address the problem is to determine if any associations exist between suicide and medical treatments our veterans may be receiving for service-related conditions. Accordingly, this bill is a prudent first step in ending this crisis and letting our troops know that when they come home they are not alone.”

The Congresswoman shared her views on these and other issues facing our vets at a March conference sponsored by the National Organization of Veterans’ Advocates (NOVA). Tim and Sean Cuddigan of Cuddigan Law attended the conference. Sean Cuddigan said that “participation in these types of conferences is critically important to staying on top of legal and legislative developments in our efforts every day to fight for the rights of our clients who served their country.”

Sean D. Cuddigan
SSA and VA Disability Attorney in Omaha, Nebraska
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