September 28th, 2012
09:43 PM ET

KTH: Vets suffer while waiting for benefits

U.S. veterans are fighting for disability benefits they say they're entitled to from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Randi Kaye reports.

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Filed under: Keeping Them Honest • Veterans
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Bill Mangold

    I have been fighting a claim with the VA system for about 13 years 1999-present. One VA Doctor said just bad night mare disorder and it will go away Still having same nightmare everynight.. Been on all types of VA drugs. Seen other VA Doctors they sayChronic PTSD. VA does not include there Doctors in the decision. Getting help is just not their for
    the vets I did 20 years in he Maine Corps. If a nyone knows how to help other vets please pass the word. In group theray which does help some

    October 4, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
  2. Hugh Smith

    Veterans must keep in mind that the mission of the VA is to deny benefits to the veteran; there can be no other reason or excuse for the way that the VA operates. I am convinced that any claims submitted are first screened by the lowest level paygrade clerks, perhaps this being their first job out of school, young, with absolutely no knowledge of what it is like to serve or what service members, and their families, experience. By the way, only a very small percentage of VA employees are veterans. I also have no doubts that these processors and "adjudicators" are under pressure to help clean up the backlog of claims, and the most expeditious way to do that
    is to rubber stamp as many claims as possible in their workday as "Denied". So, be prepared to spend several years
    waiting and working on your caim, until it finally reaches the Board of Veterans Apeals.
    Alternatively, many vets, especially those from the Vietnam war, have had great success and timely resolution of their claims for PTSD by simply faking symptons (don't tell me it doesn't happen – I have personally witnessed it). It seems as though the VA bumps these claims to the head of the line and invariably approves them.
    Does this all sound like sour grapes? Well, it is, and those sour grapes have been nurtured by over a quarter century
    of observation, personal experience, and the experience of veteran friends.

    October 1, 2012 at 1:47 am |
  3. daniel

    A convicted felon receives 3 square meals per day, full medical and dental care, safe and clean housing, even mandatory access to library and unless they are under disciplinary action television privileges. Our vets who get injured in the line of duty receive barely enough benefits for food for a family of four. What is wrong with this country? It is shameful the difference in these two situations. Shameful. Congress please do something to redress this grave injustice. How about sending our prison population to Afghanistan and letting our veterans refurbish some of our prisons into living quarters?

    September 30, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
  4. lorraine blasik

    we must support our veterans!!

    September 30, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
  5. ken

    I have documents and medical records to prove my claims. The BVA in DC has been sitting on my case for a few years. VA Doctors say if you won't take drugs they offer to medicate you they will do nothing. We use to have PTSD Group meetings which really helped. Sadly, the VA stopped them in 2010 due to a lack of funding. Seems they can't accout for some millions of dollars in Federal funding that is suppose to be for the care of we Vets. Please investigate!!!

    Ken Moulton
    Lawton, OK

    September 29, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
  6. ken

    I am one ofthose Vetsthat is waiting for the VA to obey the Law. I have been waiting since 1984 when I first filed for Agent Orange. I refiled in July 2003 and was denied access to a doctor and was made to see a medical assistant who mis-diagnosed me as paranoid. The VA Psyschirist said I was not paranoid and that I suffered from Service Connected PTSD from my Service in Vietnam in 1970. VA Doctors also wrote I had Servicce Connected Sleep Apnea, Agent Orange Diabettes and other major health issues. My private Doctor said my COPD was Service Connected from when I spemt months being treated for a lung disorder. My Wife and I need help!!

    Ken Moulton
    Lawton, OK

    September 29, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
  7. James M. McElfresh

    This is unfortunately one of many sad cases I must rectify against the VA..I would be more than happy to assist this veteran in prosecuting his claims against the VA as I represent several vets in Arizona. Vets deserve the best representation available to them.

    Jim McElfresh. Member of The National Organization of Veterans Advocates/ NOVA

    September 29, 2012 at 11:34 am |
  8. Susanne Quinn

    RE: Veteran's Battle For Disability

    Thank you Randi for calling attention to the plight of thousands of Veterans across this country. The claim processing is just the beginning, once you finally get through that process and can begin to receive care at VA Medical Center, another nightmare begins. Here in Denver the wait time to see a therapist for mental health care is 2-3 months long, the wait to see a PCM is at minimum 30 days....we are in trouble, and we need to the good people of our country to come forward and help us...a call to your Senator telling them to "take care of our Veterans" is a place to start. We truly do need all the help we can get...thank you. Susanne Quinn, MSgt, USAF (ret)

    September 29, 2012 at 1:59 am |
  9. Prashant

    A Country which does not know how to take care of its brave and wounded Soldiers MUST never send them into unnecessary WARS. And people who Support such Wars and the leaders encouraging such WARS should be ASHAMED of themselves. Period.

    September 29, 2012 at 1:44 am |
  10. Rich Ott

    Will someone in the media please connect the dots. Government Bureacracies do not move quickly or compassionately. Why do we continually put our faith in them? Why do we want to turn more of our life over to them? As they take over more healthcare it will give CNN a lot of news stories of people waiting for bureaucrats to make decisions regarding our health. This story is sad but par for the course. Research the Indian Health Services, the VA system all are bloated Bureacracies that cause people to suffer.

    September 28, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
  11. Jesse Smith

    I am a Iraq War Veteran. Currently I am facing similar issues as reported in the new piece tonight. It's very unfortunate that I was prepared to pay the ultimate price (My Life) for my country and my country, as demonstrated by the Department of Veterans Affairs processes is not doing what's necessary ensure disabled veterans are taken care of medically and financially. There are also policies that create financial hardships for veterans who received separation pay once discharged from the military service. I requested a congressional inquiry regarding my issues with the VA and as a result, I have to an additional 6 months before I can expect to receive a decision on my claim.

    September 28, 2012 at 10:53 pm |