Well, it isn’t exactly a cheery story for the holidays, but a necessary one. The data obtained by the Center for Investigative Reporting points out that long wait times are contributing to tens of thousands of veterans being approved for disability benefits and pensions only after it is too late for the money to help them.
Everyone is making the appropriate angry noises, but what do you think needs to be done by the VA to end this issue once and for all?
From the Daily Beast:
In the fiscal year that ended in September, the agency paid $437 million in retroactive benefits to the survivors of nearly 19,500 veterans who died waiting. The figures represent a dramatic increase from three years earlier, when the widows, parents and children of fewer than 6,400 veterans were paid $7.9 million on claims filed before their loved one’s death.
These veterans range from World War II veterans who die of natural causes without their pensions to Iraq War veterans who commit suicide after their disability claims for post-traumatic stress disorder are denied.
The ranks of survivors waiting for these benefits also have surged, from fewer than 3,000 in December 2009 to nearly 13,000 this month.