Since 2001, the VA has been working on rewriting all the regulations that govern their disability process. The goal is to make all the regulations much more straight forward, simple, and easy to understand.
Some of the proposed changes in the Regulation Rewrite Project include:
- Terms will be changed to make them consistent throughout
- Regularly used terms will be more clearly defined
- The rules regulating how to apply for VA disability benefits will be more specific and clear
- The rules regulating how the VA processes claims will also be more specific and clear
- Specifics about how conditions are rated in special circumstances will be more specifically defined
While all of these changes have the potential to make life a bit easier on veterans, there is, unfortunately, no planned date in mind for these changes to go into effect. The first of these changes were suggested in 2001, and now, 13 years later, there is still no definite end in sight.
As of November 27, 2013, the Regulation Rewrite Project is on hold until all the changes that are occurring in the VA to take care of the backlog are in place and functioning correctly (See our other articles on these bills: The Veterans Backlog Reduction Act, Proposed Task Force to Study the VA Backlog, and the Claims Processing Improvement Act of 2013).
Considering all the bills designed to fix the backlog are still in Congress, it is probably safe to say that these changes won’t occur for at least a couple more years.