Member access

4-Traders Homepage  >  News

News

Latest NewsCompaniesMarketsEconomy & ForexCommoditiesHot NewsMost Read NewsRecomm.Business LeadersVideosCalendar 

U.S. Senate Committee on Finance : Baucus, Hatch Call on Social Security Administration to Expedite Assistance to Veteran

01/29/2013 | 04:19pm US/Eastern

For Immediate Release
January 29, 2013

Contact:

Sean Neary/Meaghan Smith
(202) 224-4515

Baucus, Hatch Call on Social Security Administration to Expedite Assistance to Veteran

New GAO Report Shows SSA Communication Delays Add to VA Disability Claims Backlog, Leaving Veterans Waiting Months for Benefits

Washington, DC - Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) today called on the Social Security Administration (SSA) to work with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to reduce the dramatic backlog in veterans' disability claims.  The senators wrote a letter to SSA in response to a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, which found SSA's delays are major contributors to the backlog.

"Veterans - especially those injured in service to our country - should never have to wait for the benefits they've earned," Senator Baucus said.  "Everyone understands the Social Security Administration's resources are tight, but there is absolutely no excuse for dropping the ball on veterans' needs.  This issue needs to be addressed, and it needs to be addressed now.  The Social Security Administration needs to come up with a meaningful plan to work more efficiently with the VA and fix this problem. "

"It is unacceptable that America's veterans - the men and women who've sacrificed so much for our nation - can't return home and access the benefits they have earned.  What the GAO found is extremely troubling and the Social Security Administration must take immediate action to clear out this backlog and get these benefits to the veterans as quickly as possible.  Our heroes deserve no less," Senator Hatch said.

In their letter, the senators noted that VA has consistent problems getting the medical records it needs from SSA.  In one instance, regional VA officials commented that SSA takes more than a year to respond to requests.  The senators asked SSA to provide information on any changes it is currently making or plans to make in the future to resolve their delays.

The full GAO report is available here.  The text of the senators' letter is below:

January 29, 2013

The Honorable Michael J. Astrue
Social Security Commissioner
Social Security Administration
6401 Security Boulevard
Baltimore, MD 21235-6401

Dear Commissioner Astrue, 

Like all Americans, we want benefits for our veterans to be accessible and provided in a prompt manner.  As Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee on Finance, we want all agencies under the Finance Committee's jurisdiction to be working together with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) towards that goal.  We are disappointed by a recent report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) which identified that a major delay in processing veterans' disability claims has been a lack of timely response for medical records from the Social Security Administration (SSA).

The details in the GAO report about SSA's lack of cooperation with VA are troubling.  Though SSA has committed to sharing relevant medical records with the VA, VA staff reports difficulty obtaining SSA medical records in a timely fashion.  VA staff rarely have a contact person at SSA who can assist in providing information on the status of VA requests.  In one regional office, officials with VA commented that SSA takes more than a year to respond to requests for medical records.  This situation is unacceptable and SSA must do better.

We understand that SSA has begun making changes that will improve the problems detailed in the GAO report. Please send us a detailed response that addresses each finding by GAO and provides us with specific steps SSA is taking to better meet the needs of VA and our veterans, and whether or not those changes have been implemented.  If a proposed change has not been implemented, please provide details on why and specific details on the deadline for implementation.

Thank you in advance for your prompt response.  We look forward to hearing from you by no later than February 19, 2013.

Sincerely,

Max Baucus
Chairman

Orrin G. Hatch
Ranking Member

###

distributed by
React to this article
Latest news
Date Title
09:13p HOMEX DEVELOPMENT : 500 mm Adamantine Credit Facility
09:10p ZTE : Pre5G Massive MIMO Base Station Sets Record for Capacity
09:07p GLOMAC BERHAD : unveils Saujana KLIA
09:07p UMW BHD : upbeat on lubricants
09:03p MICROPORT SCIENTIFIC : Voluntary Announcement - CE Approval of FIREHAWK
09:03p PAN PACIFIC HOTELS : celebrates multiple wins at the 2015 TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice Hotels awards
09:01p MITSUBISHI ELECTRIC : to Consolidate Development and Manufacture of PLC and Operator Panels at Nagoya Works
09:01pDJU.S. Futures, Asian Stocks Fall After Greek Election -- Update
08:58p ZTE : Dusseldorf Court Rejects Vringo’s Patent Claims Against ZTE
08:58p GUANGZHOU SHIPYARD : The Project ¡°Dawn¡± has been Selected as a Typical Case of Market Cap Managem..
Latest news
Advertisement
Hot News 
HAIKE CHEMICAL : Expects To Report 2014 Profit After Restructuring
FXCM : Law Firm Kirby McInerney LLP Investigating Potential Claims on Behalf of FXCM Inc. Stockholders
SAGENTIA : Considering GBP10 Million Cash Windfall To Shareholders
SABLE MINING AFRICA LD : Set To Sign Big Transshipment, Infrastructure Development Deal
LEAPFROG ENTERPRISES : Provides Preliminary Unaudited Fiscal Third Quarter Results
Most Read News
07:48p Corporate giants confident in Malaysia
08:19p SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS TO BE MAIN CHIP SUPPLIER FOR NEXT IPHONE : South Korea paper
06:18p H & R BLOCK : Affordable Care Act adds to filing complexity
07:36p AECOM : Public invited to weigh in on St. Pete's waterfront plan this week
06:27p HOME DEPOT : Cops: Man kills co-worker, then himself at NYC Home Depot
Most recommended articles
09:01pDJU.S. Futures, Asian Stocks Fall After Greek Election -- Update
08:49p Reinsurers Axis Capital, PartnerRe to merge in $11 billion deal
08:49pDJSyriza Victory in Greek Election Roils European Debate Over Austerity
08:35pDJSyriza in Coalition Deal With Right-Wing Independent Greeks
08:35pDJSYRIZA'S CHALLENGE : an Empty Treasury
Dynamic quotes  
ON
| OFF