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It's well Americans America's veterans put their lives on the line every day to protect their freedoms and yet they're being forced to wait for eight and unacceptable -- -- really remarkable amount of time to collect their benefits.
According to the center for investigative reporting hundreds of thousands of veterans.
Are waiting an average of 279.
Days for those benefits some of them are suffering from life threatening illnesses.
With us now is attorney retired US navy commander John Wells but it -- thanks -- -- -- Coming on.
I'm -- my pleasure so put we put this in some context force that seems like an awful long time to wait.
For a -- to receive his benefits is it longer that he used to being.
It certainly is so used to be about six months when our first -- my retired 94 is about six months.
And part of the problem is the processing time it used to be in the late ninety's you'd have a BA claims worker processing 135.
Claims a year which was slow but that was their average and today the average is about 79 claims.
Commentary that 279 -- figure.
Is way -- I know of nobody.
With any kind of -- super complicated claim that's gotten anything in less than a year to make matters worse that's the tip of the iceberg.
When you have the claim initially denied at the at the regional office you have to go through the appellate process.
You're adding years it's eighteen months minimum to get to the board of veterans appeals which is the intermediate appellate authority.
To go to the court of appeals for -- claims is even longer.
I've got one case that's been ongoing for ten years to try to get that this one person the benefits it's just doesn't.
Shocking considering there's no group in America that -- has more and more widespread support -- veterans everybody supports hundreds -- -- acknowledges our debt to veterans.
And yet you say they -- this process is not even digitize to stunned by the -- can that be true in 2013.
We're talking about stubby pencil.
Paper files being sent back and forth so for example.
If a files being worked on that the board of veterans appeals and you have another claim at the regional office that second plane can't be heard because the files at the -- of veterans appeals.
Nothing as digital lives.
It's nothing is done by email nothing is done by telephone it's all by hard copy letter is just.
The most inefficient system you can thank -- Now I will get.
-- VA credit for one thing.
They kill a lot of trees they will send out.
Packets of paper 1012 pages -- with a lot of legalese but in the end.
They're not solving the problem they're more concerned with making sure the box on the form is checked correctly.
Then getting the individual claim process.
This is really stunning -- you see any evidence the Obama administration is moving.
To fix this.
They claim they are -- the secretary of set a goal of 125 days so the 98% accuracy by 2015.
I don't see how they're gonna get there the way they're -- it's.
-- they need to make their computer systems compatible with Department of Defense.
Now there's been a study to do that with the medical records I think that -- they've spent about a billion dollars on -- and they just said now gee this is too hard -- not gonna do it.
If they need to get.
They need to be able to send things back and forth by email.
But the biggest problem they have to get used to get the -- problems in line.
50% of the claims coming out of the -- of veterans appeals going to the court of appeals for veterans' claims are sent back her remanded by the court.
Because the case was not properly prepare.
That's under that's just unbelievable the -- and it's inexcusable that is soldiers spent 3452.
Fighting in Afghanistan -- Iraq waits almost a year to have his claim addressed is really.
Thanks -- commander wells are really appreciate it thank you sir.
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