It shouldn’t take a government agency (VA) very long to verify a medical record that came from another government agency (one of the Armed Forces). Most, if not all, of the documentation in question in these medical records has already been checked and rechecked multiple times prior to it reaching VA for a claim. In some cases, VA has even ran tests then required the claimant to undergo the same exact tests they contract out to a civilian agency (VES – Veterans Evaluation Services) for no apparent reason other than to drag the process out even longer. The only thing that VA is doing when they drag their feet in the claims process is costing the TAX PAYERS more money. These claims should be processed, start to finish, within 90 days. There is no reason to drag them out for these lengthy periods, it only causes unwanted stress and hardship on the service member and their families, which none of them deserve.
For years now the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has rejected legitimate claims by Servicemen on the hopes that the claimant wouldn’t pursue any further action because of the length of time they (VA) take to make their decision. In most cases, a claim can go unsettled for 12-18 months or longer. Depending on the determination from VA that 12-18 month period gets paid in a lump sum to the claimant. This amount could range anywhere between a couple thousand dollars ($2,000), to forty five to fifty thousand dollars ($45,000 – $50,000), to hundreds of thousands of dollars (these figures are just base amounts and do not include anything extra). With the number of returning Servicemen this country is expecting and the percentage which will ETS or retire, wouldn’t it be in VA’s best interest to settle these claims in a timely manner rather than dragging them out for months or even years like our Vietnam Veterans have encountered. Some of our Vietnam veterans are receiving million dollar checks from the government due to these ridiculous processes.
If VA is under staffed and cannot handle what is required of them to process these claims in a respectable amount of time, our Government Leaders should step in and do what it takes to make sure we are taken care of. We, as Serviceman, never hesitated in completing our mission(s) to guarantee the safety and well-being of this country! Why does it take VA so long to CARE for US after we ETS or Retire? One VET without a home, medical care, or the benefits they DESERVE is ONE too many!!!!!
Jeffrey L. Thomas served in the U.S. Army and Indiana Army National Guard. He retired after 22 years of service. His is married and have six children and proud grandfather of one. Jeffrey has been waiting on his disability claim for 16 months. He currently lives with a family member, receiving food stamps, and trying to stay positive.