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.
The VA is working to reduce the wait time for disability benefits, which at its peak averaged 280 days. The president vowed to end the wait in 2014.
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 […]
Use our data, share your story: CIR launches VA backlog API
When we published our interactive map of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ backlog of disability benefits claims in August, our goal was to highlight the delays’ impact on veterans across the country. Updated with new data from the VA each week, the map also serves as an ongoing accountability tracker for the agency’s progress on […]
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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 […]
VA rewarded top officials with bonuses, despite growing claims backlog
In August, the VA’s inspector general said the weight of paper files at the agency’s Winston-Salem, N.C., office had compromised the structural integrity of the building.Office of the Inspector General/Department of Veterans Affairs The Department of Veterans Affairs handed out millions of dollars in bonuses to top officials over five years, even as the number […]
House committee leader calls for head of VA benefits to resign
WASHINGTON – Concerned about broken promises of assistance for the nation’s veterans, Rep. Jeff Miller, chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, called today for the head of the agency’s benefits administration to resign. Allison Hickey, the VA’s undersecretary for benefits, is seen at a hearing last year.C-SPAN screen shot Allison Hickey, the VA’s […]
VA’s ability to quickly provide benefits plummets under Obama
The Department of Veterans Affairs has failed to provide key information to Congress and the public that shows the agency’s ability to quickly provide service-related benefits has virtually collapsed under President Barack Obama. Internal VA documents, obtained by the Center for Investigative Reporting and authenticated by the agency, reveal that delays newly returning veterans face […]
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.
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. […]
Number of veterans who die waiting for benefits claims skyrockets
Long wait times are contributing to tens of thousands of veterans being approved for disability benefits and pensions only after it’s too late.