Veterans tired of waiting for benefits

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)-- The head of the US Veteran's Affairs, a retired Army General, says he is attacking those long delays for processing claims with the VA.

He came to Connecticut Thursday, to make a pledge that things will get better.

There are over 200,000 veterans living in Connecticut and each year about 50,000 of them come here to the Veteran's Administration hospital in Newington. Thousands more go to the facility in West Haven, as well as six clinics around the state.    

And it's pretty easy to find some that are waiting for decisions from the VA about their benefits.
 
"I've been waiting for my V.A.S. for about a year now. It's housing for homeless veterans," said Wilbur Keys.

"I've been waiting three years for disability, I'm trying for 100%. I got Hepatitis C from the shots they give you in the Army," said Paul Barron.

And with more and more conditions from the various wars now being covered by VA benefits, the back up was getting even worse.   
      
Politicians hear about it all the time, and the veteran's service organizations know all too well about the hold ups.

"It's over three months, they get nervous. If it's over six months, they start getting angry," said K. Robert Lewis.  

"Among the most common complaints I get is the seemingly endless delays," said Sen. Richard Blumenthal.
      
Thursday, the U.S. Secretary of Veteran's Affairs, retired Army General Eric Shinseki came to Connecticut touting the department's new paperless processing system that is immediately working to process the oldest claims first, and he made this promise to Connecticut's veterans.

"Begun executing a robust plan to go after this backlog to which we've committed in 2015; no claim of over 125 days, and a 98% accuracy level," said Shinseki.

The online benefits website for claims is now immediately channeling veteran's claims to the new Veteran's Benefit Management System.
 
For more information on the benefits, you can go to ebenefits.va.gov.

Copyright 2014 WTNH TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

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Connecticut (change)

 
Connecticut has 169 cities and towns, which serve as the fundamental local political subdivision of the state. Connecticut is the 5th of the original thirteen United States.
 
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