The VA is working to reduce the backlogs of initial claims but does speed sacrafice accuracy and fairness to the veterans? More vets are filing appeals with the Board of Veteran Appeals and the appeals back log is climbing.
There are 264,000 cases on appeal. 13,000 appeals have been filed since mid-July 2013. According to a retired Lieutenant Colnel who was a an Army Jag officer and now a veteran advocate, " A VA employee makes a decision and the entire system just attempts to defend that position as opposed to going back in and seeing what's wrong with it."
A veteran who files an appeal will be n the syatem four or more years based on current wait times published by the VA. There are many reasons for the long wait times, but one of them may be the culture of the VA itself. The VA only hires from within and although a Veteran Service officer or other Veteran advocates are qualified to do the job of Rating Specialist they cannot even apply for the position. Thus new Rating Specialist are trained by old Rating Specialists continuing the prevailing culture.
The Board of Veteran Appeals also hires from within the VA and so the cycle continues!