University of the District of Columbia Law Review


The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has experienced dramatic increases in its budgets since September 11, 2001.1 Increasing federal deficits during this time has led Congress to seek spending cuts, causing tensions in efforts to ensure that a declining veteran population receives the quality benefits and services they earned through years of service.2While the number of veterans in the United States has steadily been declining due to veterans of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam dying,3 the number of veterans receiving disability compensation has risen dramatically due to injuries sustained by service members in conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the increased survivability of many of the injuries they have sustained.4 The high cost of compensation has prompted policymakers to consider whether fundamental changes are needed in the VA disability system. Some legislative and policy recommendations would tie disability benefits to work incentives and medical treatment requirements to reduce long-term dependence on federal benefits.

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