Options presented by the CBO, as described in that Stars and Stripes special report, include:
More Reexaminations. "more reexaminations of veterans with disability ratings to track changes and thus adjust ratings."
Time limit to file. "It suggests that veterans could be required to file initial claims within a fixed period of time, for instance within five or 10 or 20 years of leaving active duty, depending on medical condition claimed, because some conditions would take longer than others to become apparent."
Changes to Presumptives. Another "option is to change the “positive-association standard” VA has used to form its list of “presumptive” medical conditions...." ...“a positive association between exposure to a hazard and onset of a disease a necessary criterion for establishing the presumption that a condition is connected to military service, but it would no longer have such an association constitute the sole factor for establishing that presumption.” "VA would have to consider “other known risk factors, such as diet and aging, in the development of the medical condition.”"
Eliminate IU after qualifying for Social Security. Put an, "end to Individual Unemployability (IU) benefits to veterans old enough to qualify for social security."
Reduce COLA's. "...dampening cost-of-living adjustments."
Eliminate Concurrent Receipt. "...restoring the ban on “concurrent receipt” of both VA disability pay and military retirement."
The full August 7, 2014 CBO report, entitled, "Veterans' Disability Claims: Trends and Policy Options," is available from the CBO at: http://www.cbo.gov/publication/45615
The full Stars and Stripes article is available at: http://www.stripes.com/news/veterans/cbo-why-va-claims-exploded-and-ways-to-slow-the-trend-1.300353
SOURCE: Stars and Stripes, Aug. 28, 2014, Tim Philpott reporting