Washington, D.C. — The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) expressing concerns regarding the VA’s decision to rescind its Veteran Service Officer (VSO) 48-hour review policy.
The VSO policy served as the last opportunity to identify and correct errors in the claims process before they become part of the record used as a basis for denial of benefits or diminished awards. Rescinding the policy may lead to veterans facing unnecessary and avoidable delays in the receipt of earned benefits as mistakes not caught prior to final determination can only be rectified through a lengthy and complicated appeals process.
In their letter, 42 attorneys general express concern that the policy was implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic, creating further complications for VSOs and veterans who are working remotely with diminished resources.
The letter concludes, “We urge the VA to postpone any change to this long-standing policy until the VA, VSOs and veterans can have more thorough discussions regarding the VA’s reasons for the change, the implications it will have on VSOs and veterans, and whether there are alternative solutions that do not call for complete elimination of this critical quality review.”
# # #