Veterans Administration: Delay, Deny, Wait ’Til I Die

Tim Forkes | Baltimore Post-Examiner | July 25, 2013

If you’re a veteran, especially an Iraq and Afghan war vet, you know exactly what that headline means.

The backlog at the Veterans Administration rarely makes the news, nor does this startling fact: 22 veterans commit suicide every day. Many of those are veterans that have been waiting as long as two years (or longer) for their claims to be completed. And then if you need to appeal it the wait starts all over again.

The average wait for a claim to be adjudicated varies from claims office to claims office, but the St. Paul, MN office has the “fastest” turnaround: 276 days. Yeah, do the math and that’s about nine months.

The funny thing is, if any of this could be humorous, no one in the government thinks hiring more workers would help alleviate the problem. Not the Secretary of the V.A. General Shinseki, not Congress and not the president. The problem they say is that the system for filing and storing the records is not digitized and the delay is due to the V.A. trying to move all the paper into digital records.