The U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs met on Wednesday, May 23 to review the Integrated Disability Evaluation System (IDES) used in the transition of servicemembers from active soldier to veteran when they become disabled.
The review pointed out numerous inconsistencies between the methods of evaluating soldiers for mental disability, and the disability evaluations and ratings that were given to these soldiers. In some cases servicemembers were found to be fit for duty even with a 50% or higher disability rating for mental health conditions. Other records showed a servicemember was denied a disability rating on the grounds of exaggerated symptoms when there was no mental health interview or conclusive testing documented.
Reviews of the data from 24 disability cases showed that nearly 45% of them contained errors. These errors affected the level of benefit pay a veteran was eligible for or led to unnecessary appeals due to erroneous notices. An example of an error cited in the review was the case of a servicemember who suffered from a lung condition and was being treated with steroids and other medication. The servicemember was eligible for 100% disability but an error in his paperwork rated him at 0% disability, making it seem that he was ineligible for veterans’ disability benefits.
If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, a South Florida disability attorney from LaVan & Neidenberg is ready to help. To learn if you are entitled to certain programs and benefits contact our veteran’s disability rights firm today – 1-888-234-5758.