Far fewer veterans are facing long waits for disability compensation after the Department of Veterans Affairs spent the past six months focusing on the backlog.
Video: Drugging America’s Veterans
When it comes to painkillers, the United States consumes 80 percent of the world’s supply, according to American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians. More Americans now die from painkillers than from heroin and cocaine combined according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Among military veterans, the problem of painkiller abuse is especially striking. […]
VA doctors tell House lawmakers of pressure to prescribe veterans opiates
Heather McDonald speaks about her husband’s death at a House subcommittee hearing. Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran Scott Alan McDonald died of an overdose of Percocet on Sept. 13, 2012.Amanda Voisard/The Center for Investigative Reporting Department of Veterans Affairs physicians told a House subcommittee today that hospital administrators regularly pressured them to prescribe highly addictive […]
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VA’s opiate overload feeds veterans’ addictions, overdose deaths
The Department of Veterans Affairs has supplied Tim Fazio with nearly 4,000 oxycodone pills since he returned home after tours in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2008. Fazio says he was never in acute physical pain but used the pills to blot out feelings of guilt for surviving when many of his friends did not.Adithya Sambamurthy/The […]
Obama hails drop in VA backlog, but vets still face long wait on claims
Veterans’ advocates are praising a speech by President Barack Obama on the massive backlog of disability claims, marking the first time the president personally addressed the problem since it came to widespread public attention this spring.
Despite need, no plans to add veterans health centers at more colleges
Daniel Acree visits the Veterans Resource Center at City College of San Francisco. The idea for creating the center, which includes a clinic and social lounge, started with the campus, not the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.Monica Lam/KQED As a community college classmate brushed off the significance of civilian war casualties, Daniel Acree, a machine […]
Ex-VA hospital director facing corruption charges received bonuses
A former Department of Veterans Affairs hospital director indicted on 36 corruption-related charges received thousands of dollars in bonuses during the same period he is accused of taking bribes and kickbacks from contractors who received lucrative contracts with the agency. VA data obtained by The Center for Investigative Reporting reveals that William Montague, head […]
VA backs off promise to fix veterans’ claim backlog
Navy veteran Wallace Watson, 60, shown at his home in Fremont, Calif., applied for veteran disability benefits in September 2010 and says he recently got an exam. “For the first time, I feel like something is actually happening,” he said.Erik Verduzco / For the Center for Investigative Reporting The Department of Veterans Affairs has systematically […]
California homebuying program for veterans hands out few loans
John Robinson, a Marine Corps veteran, lives at the Salvation Army’s Harbor Light Center in San Francisco. He says the tight rental market has made private landlords so choosy that it’s nearly impossible to find housing – even after veterans find work and get off drugs.Anna Vignet / For the Center for Investigative Reporting A […]
VA backlog follows veterans to the grave
Sheryl Cornelius, widow of Jack Cornelius, a Vietnam veteran who killed himself in the family home in 2009, visits his grave at a cemetery in Hinton, Okla. With her are her sons, Jim Ray (left) and Ian Ray; Ian’s wife, Robyn Ray; and their two children, Abbigael Graice and Eli.Paul Hellstern/For the Center for Investigative […]