Area Veterans Groups Speak Out About Benefits Backlog
ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - Veterans groups are speaking out about the growing backlog of veterans seeking their benefits, with some 600,000 nationwide awaiting disability checks.
“It’s totally frustrating, it’s frustrating for everybody,” Scott Adams, state commander with the Department of Missouri AMVETs, said. “Can you imagine being injured overseas and being 100% [disabled]? Well, those people are taken care of but the other people who have claims and you’re not physically able to work and you have a wife and kids and, you know, you’re fighting for your insurance. And we wonder why we have such a high rate of suicide among our returning veterans.”
The VFW in Missouri also reports rising frustration among its members seeking benefits, especially those who are initially denied their request. Once veterans are in the system, it can take up to 800 days for an appeal to be processed.
“It’s the family people that it really affects the most, the ones who come back and don’t have a job,” Missouri’s VFW State Commander Phil Pippins said. “They’re looking to file their claims and get what actually they have coming to them and the backlog is horrible.”
67 senators recently sent a letter to President Obama urging him to end the veterans benefits backlog that has increased 2000% under his administration.