If I had to pick one thing Veterans are most vocal about when it comes to VA, it would be the disability claims backlog. Due to more Vets seeking compensation, two long wars with unprecedented and complex injuries, a still-recovering economy, and an outdated claims processing system, Veterans are continually waiting for long periods for their claims to be decided. It’s a problem that we’re working on, but we also understand we’re not fast enough.
The Associated Press has a behind the scenes look at the issue, which includes a look at how the nature of modern war injuries has impacted the process:
A staggering 45 percent of the 1.6 million veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are now seeking compensation for injuries they say are service-related. That is more than double the estimate of 21 percent who filed such claims after the Gulf War in the early 1990s, top government officials told The Associated Press.
What’s more, these new veterans are claiming eight to nine ailments on average, and the most recent ones over the last year are claiming 11 to 14. By comparison, Vietnam veterans are currently receiving compensation for fewer than four, on average, and those from World War II and Korea, just two.
I’m sure the piece won’t answer all of your questions on the claims process and backlog. That’s why we’re hosting a Twitter Chat in conjunction with the Associated Press tomorrow, May 30 from 3:00 – 4:00 PM ET. We’ll have experts from the benefits and health administrations answering questions about the backlog. Use the hashtag #APVetChat to tweet us questions.