By Jennifer Rizzo
Questioned about a growing backlog of veterans' claims, a top Veteran Affairs official conceded Wednesday that veterans wait "too long" to receive benefits.
"Too many veterans still have to wait too long to get the compensation benefits they earn, and that is unacceptable to us," said Allison Hickey, Undersecretary for Benefits, during a hearing on Capitol Hill.
Senators pressed officials from the VA on the increase in the number of veterans waiting more than 125 days for their benefits claims to go through.
A recent report from the Center for Investigative Reporting found that since President Obama took office in 2009, the number of veterans waiting more than a year for their benefits has skyrocketed, from 11,000 in 2009 to 245,000 in December 2012, a jump of more than 2,000%.
The VA states the average wait time after a veteran files a claim is 273 days. But for veterans filing their first claim, including Iraq and Afghanistan vets, the wait is up to 327 days, nearly two months longer. In big cities such as New York, veterans could wait for almost two years. CIR analyzed the data obtained from a Freedom of Information Act request.
"When I look at the numbers four years later ... it's not getting better," Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) stated during the hearing. "I can tell you that the increase in calls in my office are not going down."
Hickey cited an increase in demand because of the length of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and a decision to expand benefits to those suffering from illnesses associated with Agent Orange exposure during the Vietnam War.
"What I will say is the demand has risen, and I will go back to saying we have done a million claims a year," Hickey said. "These hardworking folks want to do what's right for their family members."
The number of claims has increased. In 2001, the VA completed approximately 480,000 claims, in 2002 approximately 796,000 claims and in 2003 around 827,000 claims, according to Vermont Sen. Bernard Sanders, chairman of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee. In 2010, 2011 and 2012, the VA completed more than 1 million claims each year, he said.
Veterans service organizations say filing a claim can be as challenging as filing a complex tax return or defending yourself in a lawsuit. In the meantime, veterans experience hardships.
"Our veterans go through a lot of the same everyday trials and challenges that everyone else does. They have bills to pay. They have mortgages. They have car loans. Many of them are going back to school, and on top of that they have their service-connected disabilities," said Jay Agg, spokesman for the veterans service group AMVETS. "So having to wait months, years for their benefits to which they're entitled is very frustrating, and it's just compounded when they have to deal with all these other challenges."
Excellent article! We are linking to this particularly great content on our site. Keep up the good writing.
An interesting discussion is worth comment. I think that you should write more about this subject matter, it might not be a taboo subject but typically folks don't speak about such issues. To the next! Best wishes!!
The next time I read a blog, I hope that it doesn't fail me just as much as this one. After all, Yes, it was my choice to read through, but I truly thought you would probably have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you can fix if you were not too busy searching for attention.
This excellent website certainly has all the info I wanted about this subject and didnít know who to ask.
Everything is very open with a clear clarification of the issues. It was truly informative. Your website is very useful. Thank you for sharing!
Everything is very open with a clear clarification of the issues. It was definitely informative. Your website is extremely helpful. Thanks for sharing!
tadalafil cost https://pharmaceptica.com/
I seriously love your blog.. Very nice colors & theme. Did you make this web site yourself? Please reply back as Iím planning to create my own personal website and would like to know where you got this from or what the theme is called. Thanks!
Great info. Lucky me I came across your blog by chance (stumbleupon). I've book-marked it for later!
Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you penning this article plus the rest of the site is very good.
Everything is very open with a very clear description of the issues. It was truly informative. Your site is very helpful. Thanks for sharing!
Excellent article. I certainly love this website. Keep writing!
Hi, I do think this is an excellent website. I stumbledupon it 😉 I am going to come back yet again since I book-marked it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide others.
I blog frequently and I really thank you for your information. The article has truly peaked my interest. I will take a note of your site and keep checking for new details about once per week. I opted in for your RSS feed as well.
724371 224704I dugg some of you post as I cogitated they were very beneficial invaluable 27643
Aw, this was a really nice post. Taking the time and actual effort to generate a good articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I hesitate a whole lot and don't seem to get anything done.
This is a topic which is near to my heart... Take care! Exactly where are your contact details though?
This is a topic that is close to my heart... Take care! Where are your contact details though?
693611 485509It can be difficult to write about this topic. I feel you did an outstanding job though! Thanks for this! 141923
I love reading a post that will make men and women think. Also, thank you for allowing for me to comment!
I love it when folks get together and share thoughts. Great site, keep it up!
Itís difficult to find educated people in this particular subject, but you seem like you know what youíre talking about! Thanks
After I initially commented I appear to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now whenever a comment is added I get 4 emails with the exact same comment. Is there a way you are able to remove me from that service? Thanks!
This is a topic that's close to my heart... Cheers! Exactly where are your contact details though?
An impressive share! I've just forwarded this onto a friend who was doing a little research on this. And he actually bought me breakfast because I stumbled upon it for him... lol. So allow me to reword this.... Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending time to discuss this subject here on your web page.
May I simply say what a comfort to discover someone who truly knows what they're talking about on the internet. You actually know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More people must read this and understand this side of your story. I was surprised you're not more popular given that you most certainly possess the gift.
Your style is so unique in comparison to other folks I have read stuff from. Thanks for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I'll just book mark this blog.
I want to to thank you for this very good read!! I certainly loved every bit of it. I've got you book marked to look at new stuff you postÖ
Good info. Lucky me I found your blog by chance (stumbleupon). I have saved it for later!
I blog frequently and I truly thank you for your information. This article has really peaked my interest. I will book mark your website and keep checking for new details about once per week. I subscribed to your Feed too.
I was very happy to discover this great site. I wanted to thank you for ones time just for this wonderful read!! I definitely liked every little bit of it and i also have you book-marked to check out new stuff on your blog.
Next time I read a blog, I hope that it does not disappoint me just as much as this particular one. After all, Yes, it was my choice to read through, but I genuinely believed you would have something useful to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of moaning about something that you could possibly fix if you were not too busy seeking attention.
Good post. I learn something totally new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon everyday. It's always interesting to read articles from other writers and use something from other web sites.
Howdy! This blog post could not be written any better! Looking through this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He always kept preaching about this. I'll send this information to him. Pretty sure he's going to have a great read. Thank you for sharing!
I was very happy to discover this website. I need to to thank you for ones time for this fantastic read!! I definitely liked every little bit of it and I have you book marked to see new things in your blog.
You are so interesting! I do not believe I've read through anything like that before. So wonderful to find another person with original thoughts on this subject matter. Seriously.. thanks for starting this up. This website is something that is required on the internet, someone with a bit of originality!
Hello! I could have sworn Iíve visited your blog before but after going through some of the articles I realized itís new to me. Regardless, Iím definitely happy I discovered it and Iíll be book-marking it and checking back frequently!
Very good information. Lucky me I came across your website by accident (stumbleupon). I've book marked it for later!
This is a topic that is near to my heart... Best wishes! Exactly where are your contact details though?
I need to to thank you for this wonderful read!! I absolutely enjoyed every bit of it. I have you saved as a favorite to check out new things you postÖ
Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you writing this article and also the rest of the website is also very good.
Everything is very open with a really clear clarification of the challenges. It was truly informative. Your site is very useful. Thanks for sharing!
This site was... how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I have found something that helped me. Appreciate it!
739671 337710This kind of lovely blog youve, glad I located it!?? 288698
Very good article. I absolutely love this website. Stick with it!
An impressive share! I've just forwarded this onto a co-worker who had been doing a little research on this. And he actually bought me breakfast due to the fact that I discovered it for him... lol. So let me reword this.... Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending time to talk about this matter here on your web site.
Hi, I do think this is an excellent website. I stumbledupon it 😉 I will come back yet again since I book-marked it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide others.
This is a topic that is close to my heart... Take care! Where are your contact details though?
This is a topic which is near to my heart... Cheers! Where are your contact details though?
This is a topic which is near to my heart... Thank you! Where are your contact details though?
I was able to find good info from your content.
I love looking through a post that will make people think. Also, thanks for allowing for me to comment!
When I originally commented I appear to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on each time a comment is added I recieve four emails with the same comment. Perhaps there is a means you are able to remove me from that service? Cheers!
Hi! I just want to give you a huge thumbs up for the excellent info you have right here on this post. I will be coming back to your website for more soon.
You made some really good points there. I checked on the internet for more information about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this web site.
Great information. Lucky me I discovered your blog by chance (stumbleupon). I have book marked it for later!