The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is going through some hard times right now, as their former leader Eric Shinseki recently stepped down. However, no one is going through as hard of a time as the veterans awaiting their VA benefits. According to an internal report released this week, approximately 100,000 veterans across the country are facing long waiting periods to see doctors.
USA Today has reported that VA officials have already contacted about 50,000 veterans to expedite their medical care. However, a total of 57,436 veterans across the country have already waited 90 days to see a doctor and did not have an appointment as of May 15. Nearly 64,000 who have looked to see a doctor over the past 10 years were not seen at all, according to this internal VA report.
This report said VA is moving aggressively to help these veterans, but there have been many supervisors across the organization who have been manipulating veteran appointment data. This has brought the system to a slow crawl, especially considering the large influx of veterans due to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Sloan Gibson, the interim secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, said 18 veterans in Arizona died while waiting for doctors appointments at a hospital in Phoenix, but it was not clear whether their deaths were a result of the delays. Either way, veterans deserve ready access to their VA benefits; it may be as serious as a life or death situation.
It is clear that the backlog encountered by veterans is a national disgrace. When dealing with the VA disability program, veterans must arm themselves with resolve to pursue their rightful claims and retain aggressive counsel to assist them. The Law Offices of Harold W. Conick & Associates is ready, willing and able to represent veterans with their claims before VA and Federal Court systems.