Injured or sick veterans from all over the country may feel that they have suffered mistreatment by the Veterans Administration. This may be the case whenever a government agency is in charge of hospitals and other healthcare, but many feel that those sustaining military service injuries should receive better treatment from the nation they were hurt trying to protect. The alleged problems with the VA hospital system were delays, unreliable patient service and technology that all too often added to headaches instead of lessening them.
The agency’s failure at processing disability claim payments in a timely manner may be its most serious problem. According to USAToday, about 700,000 of these claims were still considered pending, and 500,000 of those hadn’t budged in the system for 126 days or more. The VA has tried to repair the issues that saw some claims languishing for more than two years, but nothing has helped the agency gain traction in dealing with its backlog of cases.
One cause of this most serious problem for the VA was that most of its claims were still processed on paper rather than in a modern computer system, and any attempt to bring the system up to date was rebuffed by a bureaucratic refusal to change. It wasn’t just a paperwork issue. Every day in 2013, 22 veterans committed suicide, which one newspaper columnist at least partially attributed to the difficulty of even scheduling a mental health appointment with the VA.
Treating current and former military personnel for post-traumatic stress disorder and other combat-related disabilities is the job of the Veteran’s Administration’s healthcare system. In cases where claims for VA benefits for injuries have stalled out with no relief, a legal professional may be helpful.
Source: USA Today, “Ask a veteran about government health insurance: Column“, Pete Hegseth, December 23, 2013.
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