CNN reported recently about a case involving delays in processing VA disability claims. Several military groups sought injunctive relief, asking the court to impose deadlines on the Veteran's Administration to process long standing disability claims. The Judge ruled against the military groups, explaining that it is up to Congress, not the Courts, to determine whether the VA is acting in a timely manner.
An "injunction" is a certain kind of remedy that a party seeks when going to court. Sometimes, a lawsuit requests money damages, but in other cases, the party does not want money. They want a defendant to do something, or stop doing something. In this case, the veterans groups were asking a court to force a government agency to do it's job differently. However, unless the vet groups can prove that the VA is breaking one of its own laws, this can be a tough case.
We are currently seeing a similar problem with Social Security disability claims, with serious backlogs in the hearing wait times. The Oregonian is currently investigating and reporting on the backlog, which makes for some interesting reading.
Social Security disability and VA disability are two completely different benefit systems, but suffer the same disease; limited resources and an increasing case load. Vets returning from overseas are going to need a lot of help with disability claims, and they deserve every bit of it. Baby boomers who worked so hard for decades and paid social security insurance are getting older, and for the few that suffer disabling health problems should at least have the right to have their claims heard.
With so much on the new administration's plate, I hope these two important issues are not overlooked.