Few Veterans Seek Review Of Disability Rating, Panel Finds

"Only a small fraction of wounded veterans who could get better benefits have applied in the two years since Congress, acting on concerns the military was cutting costs by downplaying injuries, ordered the Pentagon to review disputed claims," The Associated Press reports. "As of mid-March, only 921 veterans have applied out of the 77,000 the Pentagon estimates are eligible, according to numbers provided by the Physical Disability Board of Review."

"At issue are disability ratings based on an injury's severity and long-term impact. Veterans rated below 30 percent disabled with less than 20 years of service receive a one-time severance payment instead of a monthly retirement check. Also, their health care switches from the military to the strained VA system, and their families lose military health insurance" (Maurer, 5/3).

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