Last year, in the 112th Congress, we passed legislation that included a provision from a bill I authored, S. 423, which will allow up to one year of retroactive benefits if an original fully-developed claim is granted. That provision takes effect on Tuesday, August 6, 2013, and I hope it will encourage more veterans to file fully-developed claims and, in return, receive faster decisions from VA.
When veterans file a fully-developed claim VA is able to move past a number of time-consuming steps in the claims process and directly begin ordering any necessary medical examinations and federal records. According to the VA this allows them to issue a decision in half the time of a traditional claim, without sacrificing quality.
While this provision offers some expediency to new cases, I am still dedicated to making sure VA realizes the damage done to our nation's veterans when the process is broken. If you have any questions about filing a claim, please contact any of my offices and my staff will be happy to help you.