My husband is a Gulf War combat veteran that was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2016 and has been seeing a VA neurologist since 2015. After being a commercial truck driver for over 20 years, his license was downgraded due to his health and he lost his employment. He applied for VA disability for the Parkinson's, which his VA doctor put in writing was caused by his exposures during the war, and was denied.

We contacted a lawyer that took his case and suggested using the fairly new Rapid Appeals and Modernization Program. This program would expedite his appeal, which can take 2 years plus, to approximately 120 days. So, he opted for this route. Finally a program to help disabled veterans get an answer faster.

While waiting for his case to be reviewed, the government decided that the people making decisions on these cases were being paid too much. So, they downgraded the positions to a lower grade, causing the people holding these positions to leave. Now new people are hired to fill these spots, but at a lower pay grade.

The catch is, a lower grade employee cannot change the decision of a higher pay grade employee so now this appeals program is worthless and has actually set him back the extra time because now he has to refile at a higher appeal level.

I thought the government was supposed to be focused on making sure veterans were getting the extra help they need and deserve.

Lisa Schumaker,

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