Green Room

VA disability backlog doubles under Obama

posted at 7:19 pm on November 12, 2012 by

You won’t be surprised to learn this is a violation of a promise:

It was one of the simplest, most poignant promises Barack Obama made in 2008 in his first campaign for the White House: He would fulfill “a sacred trust with our veterans” by significantly reducing the government’s lengthy backlog of pending claims for disability coverage. The goal: All veterans could get a decision on disability claims within 125 days.

The results:

Records obtained by the Washington Guardian show that as of Nov. 5, the day before Mr. Obama won re-election, 558,230 of the 820,106 veterans seeking disability coverage had their claims pending for more than the 125-day target. That’s 68.1 percent, or nearly double the 36 percent rate in the summer of 2010.

And there are tens of thousands more cases pending in various forms of appeal, where decisions can take months or years to resolve. For instance, the average time it takes to resolve a case before the Veterans Appeals Board is 883 days, or almost 2½ years.

The error rate is also up. Why? A combination of issues— an influx of claims from Iraq and Afghanistan vets, an increase in illnesses covered by VA disability, and a workforce unprepared to deal with them.

When the federal government, already clumsy and inefficient, attempts to do everything, it fails in its most sacred duties. 

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A promise with an expiration date–the one consistency with Prezzy.

hillsoftx on November 12, 2012 at 7:26 PM

I’m shocked, SHOCKED.

Steve Eggleston on November 12, 2012 at 7:32 PM

Carrying on a centuries-old tradition, screwing the vets. IIRC, another of those traditions that started with the Romans. Or the Greeks. Or the Chinese.

htom on November 12, 2012 at 8:11 PM

Conversely, non-veterans can, increasingly and at a record pace, walk down to a liberal judge’s courtroom and get Social Security for life starting tomorrow.

HitNRun on November 12, 2012 at 9:14 PM

I’m just asking: Is the backlog, in part, attributable to increasing disability claims from run-of-the-mill military retirees?

Why? I don’t know the extent of the problem, but military retirees have come to find out that to the extent they can “document” a partial or full disability, that portion of their taxable retirement pay can be recast as nontaxable disability pay. I learned this while looking over the shoulder of my sister’s divorce lawyer. The non-military spouse needs to address the effect of a post-retirement disability claim when establishing the non-spouse’s interest in the retirement pay.

Just sayin’.

BuckeyeSam on November 12, 2012 at 9:17 PM

Obama lies, all the time, 24/7, 365 days a year… He cannot but lie all the time, he simply cannot speak the truth…

mnjg on November 12, 2012 at 9:59 PM

As Barry once told a campaign donor – ‘Don’t believe everything a politician says.’

GarandFan on November 12, 2012 at 10:08 PM

…I’m sure the media is following this closely!…

KOOLAID2 on November 12, 2012 at 10:41 PM

…I’m sure the media is following this closely!…

KOOLAID2 on November 12, 2012 at 10:41 PM

PBS NewsHour dedicated a segment to this and there is a reason not mentioned in this article. The military has been destroying service records in Iraq and Afghanistan. Often units will scrub hard drives before returning stateside. This impacts vets because those records are often how they correlate health issues with events. It’s also a huge blow for military historians.

lexhamfox on November 12, 2012 at 11:49 PM

In 2009, when I asked for a new rating examine, it took 5 months to get the exam after I’d submitted all the (incredibly redundant) records and forms, and a further 13 months to receive a decision. That was WITH the DAV (Disabled American veterans) who knows the system inside out, acting on my behalf.

If you don’t have one of the VSO’s or a lawyer familiar with the system running your case for you, then be prepared to wait years for a decision.

The VA seems to have all sorts of money for fancy posters, flyers, handouts and trimmings, for ads and commercials and videos, and parties and retreats for staff. But when it comes to the things they are supposed to be doing, they fall flat on their faces.

I’ll add this much: I’ve NEVER had anything less than wonderful and competent treatment by the medical staff or volunteers. It’s the bureaucracy, the levels of redundancy, of one side not talking to the other, that is so damned frustrating. It can take weeks to get appointments, and it’s almost impossible to see anyone without a referral from your primary care physician.

If you want to know what ObamaCare is going to be like, just take a good hard look at the VA. It’s going to be worse than that.

TKindred on November 13, 2012 at 7:58 AM

Take a good look at socialized medicine. The VA is a textbook case. Yes, everybody talks a good game of preventative medicine and medical care for all. In reality it doesn’t quite measure up to the expectactions.

An example: Diabetics not on insulin are only provided the testing materials to test their blood sugar every other day – not every day, or multiple times a day. Wouldn’t it be a good thing for diabetics to know their blood sugar throughout the day? Before, you know, it gets worse and they have to go on insulin?

Another example: during a scheduled visit a patient complains about knee pain. The doctor says, “Well, we can take an x-ray – if you really want to.” X-ray comes back negative. Patient goes to an orthopedist, outside of the VA system – on his own, has an MRI done, and is put on a course of treatment to alleviate the symptoms (arthritis).

Long waits for appointments, prescription formularies set up by drug costs, appointments that are more like moving cattle through the facility…on and on. Once Obamacare goes fully into effect we can all take part in the glorious clusterfark that is socialized medicine! Can’t wait for you guys to join us!

Mitoch55 on November 13, 2012 at 8:30 AM

Bayam, you have a call holding on line two. Bayam, line two.

rogerb on November 13, 2012 at 8:30 AM

Everything that is wrong with our country has seemed to double under this president. Yet he is still re-elected by a foolish electorate, abetting him in destroying everything that this country once stood for.

savage24 on November 13, 2012 at 10:41 AM

This doesn’t surprise me, yet this is the same crew that want to take over everyone’s healthcare… That ain’t gonna work.

dogsoldier on November 13, 2012 at 12:42 PM

obama to U.S. veterans: Please go to hell.

Pork-Chop on November 13, 2012 at 12:42 PM

How the Hell did he get re-elected? Blows my mind.

AnOldMan on November 13, 2012 at 2:05 PM

Jugears was not re-elected. He was frauded into the position. Just like Stalin, Hussein, Chavez and every other tyrant. The Dems have been perfecting and building on this fraud machine for a long time, just waiting for moments like this. Funny how when any fraud is investigated, it is most always dems,??????? Soros and others have been working on this for years. It will not be taken on by anybody because it may cause civil unrest,,,,,,,so what,,,,,,,,just walk on into serfdom without a whimper. Makes me sick and I am looking to move to another country.

retiredeagle on November 13, 2012 at 2:41 PM