Under Obama, Veterans Wait 2000% Longer for Disability Benefits

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


Obama Inc’s standard policy seems to be screwing veterans. Between the cuts to veteran health care via Tricare, education funding and mass firing of military personnel while handing out billions of dollars to his backers, Obama has inflicted catastrophic damage on countless military families.

But Obama’s worst impact may have been on the most vulnerable veterans.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has failed to provide key information to Congress and the public that shows the agency’s ability to quickly provide service-related benefits has virtually collapsed under President Barack Obama.

The ranks of veterans waiting more than a year for their benefits grew from 11,000 in 2009, the first year of Obama’s presidency, to 245,000 in December — an increase of more than 2,000 percent.

Since 2009, the number of Southern California veterans waiting more than a year for their benefits has increased from 262 to 21,567.

More than 3,000 Southern California veterans have been waiting more than two years for their benefits.

The agency tracks and widely reports the average wait time: 273 days. But the internal data indicates that veterans filing their first claim, including those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, wait nearly two months longer, between 316 and 327 days. Those filing for the first time in America’s major population centers might wait up to twice as long — 642 days in New York, 619 days in Los Angeles and 289 days in San Diego.

As a candidate, Obama had promised to revamp a “broken VA bureaucracy,” but the documents reveal that many of the administration’s attempts — including efforts to boost staffing and computerize claims processing — have fallen apart in the implementation.

Despite agency promises to eliminate the claims backlog by 2015, the internal documents show the VA expects the number of veterans waiting — currently about 900,000 — to continue to increase throughout 2013 and top a million by the end of this month.

The agency has spent four years and $537 million on a new computer system, 97 percent of all veterans’ claims remain on paper. Since those numbers were tallied by the agency in January, the VA’s two top technology officers have announced their resignations, saying they had accomplished their goals.

This is an outrage, but unfortunately the Obama Disaster extends across the entire Federal Government. The new IT systems never work the way that they are supposed to. The consultants cash in and the people are told to get lost.

If only Obama had devoted as much care and effort to working on an information management system for veterans as he did for his campaign. But the Chief Executive of the Eternal Campaign of Obama Inc. has his priorities.

 

  • Terri

    Until you can some how get this information out to the low information voter they will never ever change their party affiliation. I try to inform my liberal friends of the truth one by one. I even bet one

  • Steve

    As much as I would like to blame BHO it's not his doing per say. My significant other works at the VA doing DBQ's ( comp and pen ) which come in with incomplete information, late information, vets that have no idea why their even there ( generally because a benefits officer told them to go ), every single claim has to have a DBQ on it and the schedulers don't give docs and PA's time to actually do their opinions and that takes time. Theoretically there's a certain amount of time "weekly" to do "opinions" but they never get it. The system is hosed up, their pushing vets through to get them off the schedulers list ( politics mostly ) but the medical personnel to do the job can't do accurate work with inaccurate records which is almost entirely on paper. The result is "opinions" on disability claims actually being short changed in order to stay up with the work flow which is snowballing like an avalanche. Add to that an entitlement mind set of vets coming in for "free money" and you get a disaster happening under the radar. Add in a total lack of training on the incredibly archaic VA systems to top it all off.

  • WilliamJamesWard

    Maybe if the vets registered as illegal aliens they could receive goverment assistance is
    the fast lane or if they add and Islamic nickname they will see a marvelously quick
    response, maybe try Hussein…………………William

  • http://www.adinakutnicki.com AdinaK

    There are few lower, on Obama and gang's totem pole, than vets. And this is the truth – http://adinakutnicki.com/2012/12/10/another-bulls

    Shameless and treacherous – Obama & gang!

    Adina Kutnicki, Israel http://adinakutnicki.com/about/

  • itsy_bitsy

    I live in a retirement community with many retired military men, and I have been shocked at how many of these senior citizens think Obama is a great guy! To say I was shocked is putting it mildly! But most are from the northeast and it seems to be engrained in them! In my own view it appears to me that there should be no group more estranged from this dictator of ours, than ex-military!

  • Faceless Bureaucrat

    Wait times for veterans benefits are awful. But most VA bashing is too simplistic. There are a lot of reasons why vets are not getting timely benefits. A few (but by no means the only) reasons:
    1) Since 9/11, there are far more veterans seeking compensation than at any time in history. Yes, WWII had more vets, but for the most part, they did not seek disability compensation.
    2) The Obama Administration added a number of new disabilities to the list of Agent Orange presumptive conditions. Two of the conditions, diabetes and coronary artery disease, are primarily lifestyle issues, and they were added just when Vietnam vets are getting old enough that their lifestyles are catching up with them. VA does not require evidence of causation when determining whether a condition is considered Agent Orange presumptive. Correlation is enough. So if a lot of Vietnam vets are getting diabetes and heart disease in their 60s, well it must be due to Agent Orange. (I am unaware of a similar spike in diabetes, coronary artery disease, prostate cancer, etc. in the Vietnamese.) When the new regs came through, there were so many new claims that several Regional Offices cannibalized regular staff to set up special Agent Orange teams, and wait times for other claims, particularly appeals, skyrocketed.
    3) Not every vet is a Wounded Warrior hero. The system is clogged with dubious claims. The really disabled are forced to wait in line while others are putting in claims for male pattern baldness, depression caused by in service breast reduction scars… And tinnitus. Lots of tinnitus.
    4) With websites like HadIt.com, vets have become quite savvy. A cottage industry has sprung up of doctors and psychologists willing to sell all-purpose medical opinions over the internet (Dr Bash? paging Dr. Bash?) And would-be Binder and Binder firms are trying to get a cut of disabled vets' money, throwing all kinds of poop on the wall hoping a few claims will stick.
    Just a few things to consider. And I haven't even addressed the ever-shifting work procedures, the nearly weekly policy changes, the multiple databases that do not integrate.
    There, I feel better now.

  • SpidermanTUba

    Did any of you actually read the article? There's nothing in it that substantiates the claim that veterans are waiting 2000% longer under Obama. It says that the backlog of veterans waiting a year or more has increases 2000%, but that's not the same thing as veterans waiting 2000% longer. Do you folks even realize that?