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article imageA Look inside the Department of Veteran’s Affairs on Veterans Day

By Nicole Byerly     Nov 11, 2011 in Politics
Families across the United States are quick to forget just how many Veterans from wars that took place so long ago are still around to celebrate this special day with their friends and families.
Veteran’s day is a day to remember all of those soldiers who have served for the freedom of our country. While thousands of soldiers are being sent home and urged to file claims through the Department of Veterans Affairs through their new expedited claims process, the Department of Veterans Affairs is quick to forget just how many old claims they have yet to process.
Out of the US DVA regional offices located all over the United States, over 500,000 new claims and claims for increases are waiting to be filed, on top of over 90,000 pending appeals. Each office claims to have a backlog between 10,000 and 20,000 claims; which have been "sitting" around for over a year in some cases. A release in September of 2011 stated that new claims are averaging between 12 and 18 months to process, while some appeals can take several years to show any significant process. For anyone who depends on benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs, this is an unnecessarily long wait to have to deal with. Not only are the backlogs continuing to build up, but an expedited claims process which was set into effect in the recent year has put all of the backlogged files on a back burner.
What does this say for all of the older Veterans? All of the Veterans who have returned home years ago, and continue to fight for their benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs? Those Veterans who are unable to work, but not recognized as “injured enough” through the DVA. It takes years for them to “prove” themselves worthy of benefits they are fully and truly entitled to.
Now please, do not take this the wrong way. Men and women go to work endless days at the Department of Veterans Affairs Regional offices to sort through claims. So what is the issue? They have no organization. A social security worker said they prefer to take claims for disability from Veterans. Why is that, you may ask? The medical records are all sent through the computers- electronically- to the Social Security administration for them to process. It speeds up the procedure and makes life so much easier for the Social Security office. However, you go back to the DVAROs, and they have large desks and tables covered with paper forms of medical records, which they have to sort through paper by paper to process a claim. From three folders, to six folders, and up for each claim. How fast do you expect this process to go?
So, although Veteran’s are truly thankful for all of their great discounts, free food, and community services on this great Veteran’s day, one of the biggest impacts any American can have on a Veteran to show their appreciation is by fixing the system for the very company who is on this great soil in the land of these United States to represent and fight for services and benefits for Veterans.
More about Veterans affairs, Veterans day, DVA, department of veterans affairs, Veterans
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