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Health Care

Long waits, shoddy care and overprescription of opiates have long marred the VA health system.
Health Care

The VA’s pain pill habit

Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the number of opiate prescriptions by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has skyrocketed. In some cases, the VA has prescribed drugs to known addicts.

Benefits

Infographic: Veterans waiting longer

The Department of Veterans Affairs tracks and widely reports the average wait time for benefits: 273 days. But internal data indicate that veterans filing their first claim, including those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, wait nearly two months longer.

Benefits

Despite VA pledge to improve, more veterans face long wait for benefits

Army veteran Michael Grabski and his wife, Sandra, search real estate websites in their Napa apartment. The Department of Veterans Affairs expedited Grabski’s 2-year-old claim for post-traumatic stress disorder and a knee injury after his case received media attention.Michael Short/Center for Investigative Reporting Under fire for its growing backlog of disability benefits claims, the U.S.

Feb 8, 2013
Benefits

Accuracy isn’t priority as VA battles disability claims backlog

Video: Adithya Sambamurthy  |  Read full transcript U.S. Navy cook Hosea Roundtree watched the 1983 shelling of Beirut from the deck of a ship, feelings of helplessness washing over him as people perished onshore. That memory haunted him, resurrected in flashbacks eight years later after a tour in the Gulf during Operation Desert Storm. But

Nov 9, 2012
Benefits

Video: Errors at the VA

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs denied Navy veteran Hosea Roundtree’s disability benefits claim for post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, saying it could find no evidence that he was in combat. When a VA claims processor tried to intervene, she says she was forced out. Veterans’ advocates say Roundtree’s case illustrates the VA’s priorities: productivity

Nov 9, 2012
Health Care

Document: VA grills worker after CIR interview

The Department of Veterans Affairs wouldn't talk to the Center for Investigative Reporting about why Jamie Fox lost her job. But in a sworn deposition, Assistant U.S. Attorney Victoria Carradero grilled Fox about our investigation, asking her about the time and place of our interview with her and the questions we asked.  

Nov 9, 2012
Benefits

Video: Veterans’ disability benefits delayed

Marine Cpl. David Smith has struggled with PTSD since returning from duty in Iraq. The UC Berkeley student waited more than a year for approval of his disability benefits claim. TRANSCRIPT: [On-screen text: Marine Cpl. David Smith, now a political science student at UC Berkeley, has suffered from PTSD and depression since returning from Iraq.

Aug 29, 2012
Health Care

Suicides highlight failures in veterans’ support system

The entrance at the Menlo Park Division of the Palo Alto Veterans Affairs campus.Jason Henry/For The Center for Investigative Reporting Francis Guilfoyle, a 55-year-old homeless veteran, drove his 1985 Toyota Camry to the Department of Veterans Affairs campus in Menlo Park early in the morning of Dec. 3, took a stepladder and a rope out

Mar 24, 2012
Health Care

New data reveals high death rates for Iraq, Afghanistan vets

This month, the Department of Veterans Affairs informed the parents of William Hamilton, an Iraq war veteran, that it was not responsible for his death. Hamilton had been admitted nine times to a V.A. psychiatric ward in Palo Alto. He saw demon women and talked to a man he had killed in Iraq. His parents

May 28, 2011
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