As a disabled veteran, I have been through the VA system. I have offered Congress my opinion on how to alleviate a big portion of the backlog, but no one has responded.
The reason why I believe I didn’t get any response is simply money. The government knows that a lot of veterans get discouraged and give up on the bureaucratic red tape, thus saving the government money. They could speed up the process if they wanted but they don’t want to.
I also found that all services conduct their own medical boards. All branches of service do it slightly differently. The veteran then applies to the VA for benefits and finds they have their own set of rules for disability rating based on the code of federal regulation. If all services conducted the medical boards according to the VA code of federal regulations, this would alleviate a lot of confusion.
I also found that the military medical board panel is not there to help the veteran. They are there to give the veteran the least amount possible. In my case, I produced all the evidence to support my disability and was still given a low rating. I was told by the board to take it up with the VA. It took over three years and I had to hire an attorney to get what I rated all along from the VA.
This was my recommendation to a congressional board looking into the backlog problem 15 years ago. Since then it has only gotten worse for veterans.
Richard L. Linck, Havelock