News, Views, and Information about Disability

Disability News, Views, Information, and Literature

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Kennebec Journal Says VA Disability Backlog Is Too Big; Maine Office's Ranking Notwithstanding

A previous post, Maine VA's 38% Disability Backlog Second in US, reported on the Central Maine Sentinel praising the Togus regional office for having the second-lowest backlog in the nation. However, the editors at the Kennebec Journal are not cheering.

The Kennebec Journal ran an editorial yesterday headlined, "Our Opinion: On disability claims, Togus is better than most, but not good enough":

As of Veterans Day, more than 400,000 disability applicants have been waiting more than 125 days for an answer from the federal government. That’s more than 400,000 veterans, many recently returned from Iraq or Afghanistan, waiting too long for compensation related to post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury and other health issues.
Maine’s Togus office has the second-lowest rate of backlogged claims, 38.4 percent, behind the 32.6 percent rate of the Sioux Falls, S.D., office. However, eight regional offices report more than 65 percent of their claims are more than 125 days old, including the worst offenders, Baltimore (71.7 percent) and Houston (68.2 percent).
The Journal reported that one Afghan war veteran who waited over two years for his disability claim to be processed called the VA's suicide hotline on several occasions. While the number of people waiting has been reduced since publicity has brought the situation to light, hundreds of thousands of US veterans are still waiting for the disability pay that was promised them when they enlisted.

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