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Veterans see a longer-than-anticipated wait for benefits

Everyone who has served in the U.S. military knows there is a backlog for benefits right now, but not many knew how bad the wait was. According to a recent report by the Center for Investigative Reporting, the average wait to begin receiving veterans disability is now 273 days. This shoots up to to 327 days for those who are making claims for the first time and even more for bigger cities, with the average wait in New York being 642 days. There are about 600,000 veterans in the disability backlog.

Aaron Glantz of the Center for Investigative Reporting, said he looked through records via the Freedom of Information Act and confirmed numbers with the department. The agency has spent nearly $550 million on a new computer system but most of the veteran records are still on paper. He wrote that in the Department of Veterans Affairs office in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, the building was filled so much with claims files that it had potential to challenge the building’s integrity.

“The agency admits being overwhelmed, but it says it is getting control,” The New York Times said. “It says its job has become more complicated in part because it added more than 940,000 veterans to the compensation rolls in the last four years and covers more conditions — like those linked to Agent Orange and gulf war illness — while easing standards for proving post-traumatic stress disorder.”

In light of the long wait for due process of their claims, veterans should always appeal any adverse decisions made on their claims by the VA in a timely fashion. The Law Offices of Harold W. Conick and Associates is prepared to assist veterans with processing their claims.