Veteran Claims Caseload Skyrockets:

As he predicted, the caseload for the US Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims grew over the past year, rising to 3,729 new case filings, Chief Judge William Greene told members of a House Veterans Affairs panel May 22. The court decided 2,842 cases, the third highest number in its history, he said, adding that the load for 2007 appears to be continuing the workload increase trend. “In the first two quarters of FY 2007, we have received the highest numbers ever (2,542 new cases in two quarters),” testified Greene. He attributes the increase to “several circumstances,” including new awareness by veterans assisted by lawyers that they can appeal. The panel chairman, Rep. John Hall (D-N.Y.), commended Greene for an “exceptional job” in increasing the court’s efficiency, however, he said the entire veterans appellate system is a problem. Hall said, “The merry-go-round of the appeals process from the Regional Office to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals to the Court and the usual merry-go-round of remands back and forth between the three has turned into almost a system of injustice for our veterans.”