Saturday, April 23, 2011

‘Veterans court’ faces a backlog that continues to grow/WaPo

Half of combat veterans from Afghanistan and Iraq have filed for benefits since 2001.  From the Washington Post:
The caseload at the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims has doubled in recent years, with the court deciding more than 600 cases per judge each year — far more than other federal appellate courts.... By the time Bruce E. Kasold became chief judge in August, hundreds of cases were awaiting decisions. Retired judges had been helping with motions and simpler cases, but Kasold decided to turn more complex cases over to the retirees, who work with the help of staff attorneys.

... Congress created the court in 1988, after lobbying by Vietnam veterans. Before that, veterans who were denied benefits had no judicial recourse.

... New claims at the VA have nearly doubled since 2005, and of the 1.3 million living combat veterans discharged since 2001, nearly half have filed for benefits.

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