Part I of this paper considers the historical foundations, motivations, and evolution of veterans’ disability and employment legislation in the United States. Utilizing disability and employment as its framework, Part II then defines, describes, and critiques contemporary policies for disabled veterans in the areas of federal employment protections and uses of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) within the VA’s disability decision review process. Part III discusses the roles played by disabled veterans and the federal government in policy reform, finding that both sides act as catalysts and barriers to legislative change. This paper concludes in Part IV, recommending legislation that integrates elements of disability care―currently under the auspices of the VA―into Medicare. Through this newly created insurance component, which this paper will call “Medicare Part V,” disabled veterans will be eligible to access all hospitals and clinics currently accepting Medicare. This is anticipated to increase access to care in local facilities. Second, it is essential that the federal government devotes sufficient resources to conduct more longitudinal data collection studies, enabling a more comprehensive assessment of the transitional and employment resource needs of disabled veterans over time. Achieving a greater understanding of these needs may induce greater veteran participation rates in the labor force, benefiting employers and veterans alike. Finally, this paper calls for modernizing and optimizing the VA’s claim appeals process by creating a secure online method of Alternative Dispute Resolution for appeals, specifically in Higher-Level Reviews (HLR’s) of disability and compensation requests.
Benjamin Michael Stoflet,
From Healthcare to Hiring: Impacts of Social and Public Policy on Disabled Veterans in the United States,
36 J.L. & Health
available at https://engagedscholarship.csuohio.edu/jlh/vol36/iss1/7