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War Veterans Overloading VA

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posted on Oct, 5 2004 @ 10:51 AM
Thousands of U.S. troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with physical injuries and mental health problems are encountering an overburdened benefits system, and officials and veterans groups worry that the challenge could grow as the nation remains at war.

The disability benefits and health care systems that provide services for about 5 million American veterans have been overloaded for decades, with a current backlog of more than 300,000 claims. And as of Aug. 1, nearly 150,000 National Guard and reservist veterans became eligible for health care and benefits because they were mobilized to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan. That number is rising.

President Bush's budget for 2005 calls for cutting the Department of Veterans Affairs staff that handles benefits claims, and some veterans report long waits for benefits and confusing claims decisions.

Through the end of April, the most recent accounting the VA could provide, a total of 166,334 veterans of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan had separated from military service, and 26,633 - 16 percent - had filed benefits claims with the VA for service-connected disabilities. Less than two-thirds of those claims had been processed, leaving more than 9,750 recent veterans waiting.

just another fine reason to spend all those millions over there in Iraq, instead of right here at home..

I love this place !

posted on Oct, 5 2004 @ 11:44 AM
The problem is that the VA system has stunk since WW2. It's a good example of a health system run by government bureaucracy. Unfortunately , too many good men or women get stuck with it as their only means of aid. Am I right to assume that veterans have to go through the VA system rather than Medicare for aid?

And the cuts were coming regardless. The VA system is shrinking because we are losing our greatest generation by the thousands every month. The median life expectancy is what? 76? If you were 18 and in WW2 in 1945, then you are now 77. Korean War ? 71. Veit Nam? They are now 51. The Veteran population is shrinking...That is why the cuts are happening...

posted on Oct, 5 2004 @ 12:54 PM

Originally posted by soulforge
The problem is that the VA system has stunk since WW2.

When I first began to seek help from the VA in 1981, in New Orleans, just going there was almost more than my nerves could bear. The waiting room was filled to the extent that veterans were sitting on the floor waiting for their names to be called, the people manning the desks would call a person's name by yelling into a microphone so loudly that you couldn't understand your name and if you didn't respond you went to the bottom of the list. It was very common to be scheduled for an 0800 appointment and not be seen until 1600. It was a complete mess.

Things began to change around 1985 when I began a correspondence with my congressman. I currently use the VA for my service connected care as well as my non-service connected care. I think the care is better now than it has been in my memory. My one complaint is that the cost of drugs for non-service connected care went from zero to a two dollar co-pay and then jumped to a seven dollar co-pay overnight. But, one must remember that these drugs would cost more if you were to go to a private physician and to to a commercial pharmacy.

I also can thank the VA for helping to turn my life around and helping me to get through undergraduate school, as well as paying for my graduate school. I owe a lot to the VA even if I did have to fight tooth and nail at times for the care. One must remember that there is a difference between the clinical VA and the bureaucracy that runs it.

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