As new system rolls out, wounded troops face delays in disability claims process

A system designed to get wounded troops out of the…

A system designed to get wounded troops out of the military and on disability compensation more quickly has failed recently to meet its efficiency goals, delaying service members’ release sometimes more than a year, documents show.

The lag has caused some of the troops to turn down job offers or postpone college because they don’t know when they will be discharged from the military.

The system is called the Integrated Disability Evaluation System. It started as a pilot in 2007, but has since been rolled out to nearly 80 military installations. By this fall, about 140 installations are expected to participate. It works by consolidating the required medical exams and ratings, so that a service member doesn’t have to go through the disability claims process first in the military and then in the VA.

Congress pushed the system following the 2007 scandal over poor living conditions at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, which highlighted the complexities of the disabilities claims system. Some wounded veterans were left in dire financial conditions as they waited for compensation from the VA.

Source: The Associated Press via Washington Post.

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