WASHINGTON – Veterans groups are criticizing an Obama administration proposal that's designed to streamline how disability claims are administered.
The application process is supposed to be so simple that even a handwritten note on a napkin initiates a claim.
But the Department of Veterans Affairs says the many ways that compensation requests arrive actually hamper the agency's ability to administer benefits and contribute to a stubbornly high backlog.
The VA wants to require that veterans use a standard form when they file for disability compensation or appeal a decision. And it's throwing in incentives for those who use a computer.
The veterans groups worry that the time it takes to gather records and successfully complete the standard form could financially penalize many veterans, primarily those without computer access.