For years, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has been inundated by a large backlog of troops coming home looking for veterans benefits. With a high number of veterans waiting, the local CBS affiliate in San Francisco reported some shocking news this month: Thousands of claims filed between 1996 and 2009 were put into a file cabinet and ignored until 2012.
An example of how this has impacted veterans comes from Dorrie Stafford, whose husband Wayne was an Army veteran who filed a veterans disability claim in 2004. Wayne died in an accident seven years ago, but he received a letter dated July 29, 2014, thanking him for filing for disability benefits. This left his wife wondering how VA could be so callous, not only in ignoring the claim, but in sending a late reply to a veteran who was already dead.
Rustyann Brown, one of the team assigned to process these claims two years ago, said their VA office was getting letters from elderly veterans and widows begging for help. This showcases the very real need many veterans have to hire an attorney who will fight for their veterans benefits.
“Half of the veterans were dead that I screened. So almost every other piece of paper that I touched was a veteran who had already passed away,” Brown told CBS.
It is absolutely critical that a disabled veteran retain experienced counsel to pursue their VA disability claim. Iis well documented that veterans will have a better chance of success in obtaining benefits with the assistance of legal counsel.
The Law Offices of Harold W. Conick & Associates are available to assist veterans in pursuit of their benefits.