— To the Editor:
Will the current V.A. backlog on veterans’ compensation claims be the next scandal to hit the administration?
Currently, the backlog is at 865,000 plus compensation claims with a wait time of greater than 125 days.
Most veterans wait an average of 300 to 600 days on a claim to be awarded or denied. If the veteran dies before the decision is made, the claim dies with the veteran. What is more convenient than to stall, make the veteran wait, pound them with paperwork, and then drop the claim if the veteran dies?
Veterans of all the wars and conflicts make up a very small percentage of the population. So why does it take 300 to 600 days to get a claim awarded or denied. If denied, the veteran is looking at another two to three years on the appeals process.
The VA and VBA are one of the largest federal agencies within the government. And they have one the largest budgets to work with. They also give the most bonuses to employees within the government.
When I went to Vietnam, I had no idea of the ailments I was bringing home. That was 43 years ago and I have been dealing with the VA since my discharge.
Claims that should only take 30 days are taking six to nine months.
A fine example of this is a dependency claim. It requires a check of the veteran’s file and the dependency payments continue. With the current backlog, my twin daughters will be sophomores in college before compensation continues. What happened to equal treatment under the law?
I feel sorry for veterans returning from the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and I am worried they will be writing an article similar to this one 43 years after they come home.