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War vets facing benefits delays and denials

Veterans returning home from war may suffer a range of physical and mental impairments leaving them unable to return to the workforce. In the most severe cases, these veterans will need medical assistance, treatments of care. Unfortunately, the government has not been able to keep up with the significant number of benefits claims, leaving hundreds of thousands of veterans in California and nationwide without the financial support they need and deserve.

Combat injuries, including traumatic brain injury (TBI), PTSD, amputation or loss of limb, brain, neck, as well as other more complicated physical ailments can plague veterans and their families long after they return home from war. Challenges are personal, emotional, and financial as they try to make ends meet. The new economic reality for these veterans is bleak, as many have been denied benefits or are facing significant delays in the processing of a claim. Delays can be caused by lost paperwork, long wait times for appointments and erroneous lab results.

The Department of Veterans Affairs asserts that it is on track to process 1 million disability claims this year, however, hundreds of thousands of war vets are still waiting for health benefits. Though the war in Iraq has ended and the war in Afghanistan is winding down, the VA is now processing a backlog of more than 860,000 disability claims for American veterans. Approximately 228,000 of these vets have been waiting over a year for benefits. Many have been denied coverage for even the most severe and disabling injuries.

If you or someone you love is awaiting benefits, an experienced attorney can help you to get the medical care and documentation you need to support your claim. As advocates and claimants know, the backlog is unacceptable for veterans and their families who have sacrificed for their country and need financial and medical support.

Source: CNN Health, "Hundreds of thousands of war vets still waiting for health benefits," Randi Kaye and Scott Bronstein, Sept. 30, 2012

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