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 | 05:19pm 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
Latest news
Date Title
4m ago VONTOBEL : Leading marketplace for tailor-made structured products bolsters position – Zürcher Kantonalbank becomes sixth issuer on deritrade® Multi Issuer Platform
15m ago WRIGHT MEDICAL : SHAREHOLDER ALERT: Brodsky & Smith, LLC Announces Investigation of Wright Medical Group, Inc. in Connection with the Sale of the Company
16m ago PETRAEUS AT AMERICAN MIDDLE EAST INSTITUTE CONFERENCE : Middle East Remains "Open Door" for Opportunity
31m ago Swedish recognition of Palestine not helping - Israeli diplomat
31m ago TATA COMMUNICATIONS : posts PAT positive results; Q2
39m ago MERCK : KEMRI signs MOU with Merck
41m ago ORIOLA KD : Publication schedule for Oriola-KD Corporation's financial reporting in 2015
42m ago CHINA NATIONAL BUILDING MATERIAL : Bahrain Business Delegation Concludes Visit to China & Hong Kong
49m ago MOL : receives green light for Akri-Bijeel Block development in Iraq
49m ago Imperial Oil profit jumps 45 pct as income from refining surges
Latest news
Advertisement
Hot News 
BANCO ESPIRITO SANTO : Angola brings oil firm Sonangol into local BES bank
1SPATIAL : Interim Results for the six month period ended 31 July 2014
ULS TECHNOLOGY : Plunges As Improved Results Still Won't Meet Forecasts
REGIONAL MANAGEMENT : NYSE stocks posting largest percentage decreases
OPLINK COMMUNICATIONS : posts 1Q profit
Most Read News
1d ago GRUPO CARSO DE C V : Mexico could help realise Central America economic plan - ministry
1d ago J.P. MORGAN FOUND HACKERS THROUGH BREACH OF CORPORATE EVENT WEBSITE : media
1d ago EXCLUSIVE - U.S. PROBING STANDARD CHARTERED OVER DUBAI BANKING : sources
1d ago NETFLIX : Amazon hits back in on-demand TV war with Netflix: Comedy drama Transparent hailed as internet service's answer to House of Cards
1d ago Herbalife to pay $15 million to settle class action lawsuit
Most recommended articles
1h ago BNP PARIBAS : CEO: French banks should pay only two thirds of bailout contribution
1h ago DEUTSCHE LUFTHANSA : German pilots won't strike during negotiations with Lufthansa: Focus
2h ago Rocket Internet IPO propped up by underwriting bank - filing
4h ago CARLOS SLIM : KPN's America Movil board member sells part of KPN stake
4h ago Meyer Burger CEO says no current plans to raise more capital - paper
Dynamic quotes  
ON
| OFF