VA under fire for proposed disability filing rule

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WASHINGTON (AP) - Veterans groups are criticizing an Obama administration proposal that's designed to streamline how disability claims are administered.

The application process is supposed to be so simple that even a handwritten note on a napkin initiates a claim.

But the Department of Veterans Affairs says the many ways that compensation requests arrive actually hamper the agency's ability to administer benefits and contribute to a stubbornly high backlog.

The VA wants to require that veterans use a standard form when they file for disability compensation or appeal a decision. And it's throwing in incentives for those who use a computer.

The veterans groups worry that the time it takes to gather records and successfully complete the standard form could financially penalize many veterans, primarily those without computer access.