The VA continues to fail veterans. More than 400,000 claims for disability compensation queued up and wounded warriors wait for years to receive their due. This article in the Military Times recounts the continuing failure of the VA to assist veterans.
In an article in the Military Times on April 13th entitled, VA increases pressure on appeals reform: ‘We’re failing veterans’ attention is once again called to the atrocious back-log in claims. White House Staff, VA Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson and Veteran’s Advocates that there are currently more than 400,000 claims for compensation in appeals status with the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA). Gibson merely noted, “This process is failing veterans. Nobody can defend the status quo here.”
VA Officials insist that the focus, over the last few years, to reduce first time claim processing times and the back-log in appeals processing are not related; however, it is hard to fathom as average processing times for claims remains at three years and five years for the processing of claims through the appeals process.
The article goes on to note that VA leaders have proposed a plan to reduce processing times for most claims to under 18 months, but note that Congressional Intercession would be required. It further notes that the Veterans Omnibus Bill currently wending its way through the Senate might include proposals for claim processing time reductions and a lobbying effort is currently underway.
Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., noted that possible inclusion of the provisions, if not accomplished by June 1st would prove very difficult. Yet while hopes are seemingly pinned on Congressional action many veterans who have been around awhile aren’t holding their breath. How many times, over the course of decades, have we been told, “all we need is more money to fix this problem” only to watch in agony as outlays never seem to result in alleviation for veterans who continue to wait years for the compensation they purchased so dearly with their blood, their time and their service.