VA to Cut into Veterans Claims Backlog

MEDFORD, Ore. – With more soldiers returning home from war with new and unique types of injuries, it’s taking longer for veterans to receive disability benefits.

Now, the Department of Veterans Affairs is mandating overtime hours to cut through the backlog. That backlog has reached an estimated 830,000 veterans nationwide.

Locally, Jackson County Veteran Services is seeing an increase in the number of veterans it serves. The office estimates that it saw 6,500 visits in 2012, which is double what they saw four years ago. Supervisor Bob Carson said the nationwide backlog is because of more soldiers returning home with new types of injuries.

“We have troops surviving more catastrophic injuries that weren’t survivable in past years,” Carson said. “So we’re seeing an influx of larger, more complex claims.”

Russ McBride, the director of Southern Oregon Veterans Benefit, said the issue is compounded by the fact that many veterans file more claims as they get older and their injuries and conditions get worse. He said some of the issues are so severe that some veterans cannot hold a steady job. He said the plan to increase overtime to cut into the backlog should allow veterans to see a faster turnaround after they file disability claims.

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  1. PETER M . RUDY says:

    I filed a claim in 2004 for Depression , Anxiety , PTSD , Crohn’s Disease and Lower Back Pain / Sciatica . I submitted medical evidence from a Air Force Psychologist , stating I suffered from Depression and Anxiety . And that I was not to resume security police duties nor carry a weapon . And even suggested that I be retrained into another career field . I had asked to be relieved from duty , while on duty carrying a M-16 . Months previously , my fiance in the Philippines had broken up with me . I started drinking alcohol alone in the barracks and the turning point . Was witnessing the vulgar sexual harassment of a female civilian by three fellow airmen . Now , I realize it brought back previous PTSD , of witnessing and hearing . Endless verbal and physical abuse of my mother by my father , the worse , rape .
    Also , submitted medical records of my back injury while also on active duty . The PTSD claim from what I had previously said . After being relieved from duty the endless and daily harassment began . ” You will do whatever we tell you to do , as long as we tell you to do it , until we tell you to stop “. The Evil Corruption of the VA is that my claims have been simply denied . NO refuting of the medical evidence that I in good faith submitted . I daily almost regret ever serving my country for the way , it HAS NOT serve me !!!

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