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
02:31a MEDIVIR : Financial Statement, January – December 2014
02:31a Year-End Report January–December 2014 CybAero AB (publ)
02:31a IXONOS : Loss for the financial year decreased and cash flow improved- strategic direction remains unchanged
02:31a TELESTE : Disposal of own shares based on the performance share program
02:31a IAG upgrades 2015 profit forecast
02:31a EDF : Snam, GIC and Invest finalize the entry of Crédit Agricole Assurances into the share capital of TIGF
02:30a GNC : to Participate at Upcoming Retail Conference
02:30a FLEETMATICS : Purchases Ornicar
02:30a RADIANT LOGISTICS : Releases Update On Wheels Group Acquisition
02:30a RENESAS ELECTRONICS : Green Hills Software Reports Support for Renesas' R-Car E2 Devices
Latest news
Advertisement
Hot News 
UIL : INVESTOR ALERT: Levi & Korsinsky, LLP Commences an Investigation of the Board of Directors of UIL Holdings corporation In Connection With the Fairness of the Sale of the Company to Iberdrola SA -- UIL
PGT : Nasdaq stocks posting largest percentage increases
RSA INSURANCE : INSURANCE >> giant RSA back in profit
NORTHERN INVESTORS : 27 February 2015 - Tender Offer
CYTORI THERAPEUTICS : Secures Positive European Opinion on Orphan Drug Status
Most Read News
02/26DJCOUNTRY GARDEN : Issues $900 Million, Five-Year Bonds at 7.5%
02/26DJSOUTHWESTERN ENERGY : to Cut Investment Spending
02/26 DEUTSCHE TELEKOM : sees dividend growth in line with free cash flow
02/26 Nissan says can meet U.S. sales goal with capacity in South Korea, Japan
02/26DJWeight Watchers Loses Money, Members -- 2nd Update
Most recommended articles
02/20DJMarkets Hang on Greek Impasse
02:24a PEARSON : posts 5 percent rise in 2014 profit as restructuring ends
02:20a Airbus takes new A400M hit, juggles jetliner output
02:19a FT to change the way it charges for digital news
02:19a OLD MUTUAL : 2014 profits rise 16 percent
Dynamic quotes  
ON
| OFF