Seven Disabled Vets Say Delays at VA Led to Delayed Veterans Benefits
Seven disabled veterans have filed a lawsuit against Veterans Affairs on Monday, April 20th, because the federal agency failed to send medical files to the vets in a timely fashion – sometimes leaving them waiting for years – and that caused delays in necessary veterans benefits.
The lawsuit was filed by the National Veterans Legal Services Program on behalf of the seven vets, who live all across the country but suffered similar delays in their veterans benefits. The lawsuit asks for plaintiffs’ medical records to be released to them within 20 days – some of the plaintiffs have been waiting 2 years for the appropriate paperwork to even begin to file for veterans benefits.
One of the attorneys said he believes that there are too many veterans out there who have not come forward about the problem; instead, they experienced these long delays and gave up filing for veterans benefits altogether. The lawsuit seeks justice in the system. “There’s no good reason to me,” he said. “How hard is it to photocopy a file?”
“This delay is preventing me from applying for benefits that would help me to live a better life,” plaintiff Juan Rodriguez said in a statement released through the Legal Services Program.
“Forcing a combat-wounded veteran to wait hundreds of days for records to apply for disability compensation is unacceptable,” said another attorney involved in the case. “This lawsuit is not just about records; it is about ensuring that our country keeps its promise to its service men and women, and their families.”
Other lawsuits have been filed recently to force the VA to handle its delayed veterans benefits paperwork. At the beginning of April, a Marine Corps veteran sued the VA to force “prompt” resolution of disability benefits appeals which had been pending for more than a year. In March, another group of veterans sued the VA to block changes the organization wanted to make to paperwork filing, claiming that the changes would cheat thousands of their veterans benefits when delayed applications became obsolete.
After the huge VA scandal broke over a year ago, the VA has cleaned up much of its backlog of veterans disability applications, doctors appointments, and appeals – the VA claims it has gone from 612,000 cases two years ago, to 177,000 now. However, law makers and veterans advocates question how those alleged improvements have been made.
The Strom Law Firm Can Help With Veterans Benefits Applications
If you are a veteran who suffered injuries or disability in the line of duty, you should apply for veterans benefits to help you with medical needs, including psychological treatment and physical treatment for ongoing injuries. However, many branches of the VA across the country have been exposed for delaying applications, putting veterans on “secret wait lists” for medical appointments, and simply just dropping cases.
With the news regarding the VA’s terrible backlog, you may be afraid to apply for veterans benefits at all, but the South Carolina veterans benefits attorneys at the Strom Law Firm can help. If retained, we can help you fill out the application, fight for you to receive necessary paperwork in a timely fashion, take you through the appeals process, and fight for you to get the benefits you need and deserve for serving this country. We offer a free consultation to discuss your case, so contact us today for help. 803.252.4800