Valley Veteran Says New Law Has Not Improved Speed At VA

1 year 10 months 2 weeks ago Monday, August 27 2018 Aug 27, 2018 August 27, 2018 6:10 AM August 27, 2018 in News

Veteran Ricardo Pena said despite a new law passed to speed up the appeal process for benefits, he is still waiting to see efficiency.

The Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017 was signed into law in August of last year.

It aimed at eliminating the backlog of appeals process for veterans.

"I have a bill that, over a year ago, that I went to the emergency room there in Weslaco and they treated me and everything," said Pena, "you know they went in like nothing right, but they never paid the bill."

Pena said he would have tried the new program if anyone would have told him about it.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS reached out to Hidalgo County Veterans Service Officer, Felix Rodriguez.

He said the appeals process has been sped up and the backlog has been reduced over the last year.

Rodriguez says Pena should learn more about "RAMP" because it will make the appeals process move quickly.

"You're going to have your appeal heard within maybe 3, 4, 5 months. Doesn't mean that it's going to be a favorable decision," he says.

In a statement, the VA said the new law has led to 73,000 appeals decisions so far in fiscal year 2018.

Click the news clip above for the full story.

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