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-- you bring you board today to talk to us about an issue that this shows covered pretty extensively why we still have this backlog.
-- benefits for our veterans who have earned the right to have them and yet it seems that despite.
Speeches by absolutely everybody all sides of a political while conservatives and liberals.
We still have a problem.
Why what's the backlog and -- we haven't -- mr.
We have it because veterans are.
Presenting themselves to the VA seeking.
Disability claims that is compensation for injuries they occurred while serving their country and active duty.
That have diminished them physically.
Even if fun had a temporary basis and they're doing that and increasing numbers not only individual veterans but each veteran has more of the the conditions.
The injuries that they have been a cumulative impact of that.
Has caused a tremendous backlog of these it's almost.
A year now for a veteran to get some reading from the VA which is it is just too long and while I'm sympathetic.
To the VA and the problem because it's it's in large number of people that they have to deal what they they could expedite this.
To me it's an emergency so they ought to take emergency measures and the wrote an -- had a colleague and I for the wars -- post the way to handle this is to assume.
That that there is validity of that request for disability claim -- the part of a veteran and -- them at least a partial disability claim.
And that gets them started and it's it's akin to the way we deal with request for refund from -- IRS.
The IRS -- the taxpayer is entitled to the refinance sense of that check in and its subject to being audited later.
If we could trust taxpayers to do that why can't we trust veterans.
Who make a request for disability claim.
-- damn good level that's out there could have five years to give a final adjustment.
For this veteran and what his final compensation.
Situation would be but meanwhile we get him started bridged that gap that -- -- facing.
He'd also be entitled -- she would be entitled to have BA.
Medical care -- -- vocational rehabilitation.
And it would it would end this.
This backlog which I think is casting.
It's such a negative image on the BA in the VA at the people the VA worked very hard to take care veterans and they do a darn good job taking care of that health needs of veterans but this is in the disability area.
And it's painting everything with a negative brush so it's become a real problem -- a real morale problem my take on the part of of our veterans and and god knows they have enough problems without having to deal with long delays.
At the VA so this is a soluble situation and I think they got to take emergency measures had to solve.
I read -- -- it when you talk about the backlog.
-- these are the average wait.
For completion of the process of the veterans claims.
Had to wait 173 days.
So the above this is as you just add more market -- in the process asking for disability claims and we have now gotten to the point -- it's almost a year.
People have to go through the paperwork and still get nothing.
What happens when they exit when I thought newspaper front and lead the department of -- -- See -- Veterans Affairs Department.
Is there anything that tides them over as vague as they leave active duty service and go on to the disability rolls.
There really isn't -- be and they can get educational benefits immediately.
But they can't get disability benefits until there's been an adjudication of of their injury and and the way the VA does it now if the veteran makes claims for five or six different have regional and Arthur -- Me and traumatic brain injury in -- loss of hearing and so forth.
They want to resolve all of those individual claims before they make a final reading for that veteran.
They don't have to do that they could take just one of those and that would get him started and -- -- would get 30% disability.
Which would -- that the needs of that veteran with some money every month.
And as I said immediately get into the VA health care system and probably start getting some vocational rehabilitation training.
It's just good for their morale and it shows that the government really cares about them as soon as they take that uniform off and they don't have to wait that year.
To get some idea of what their disability is going to be so.
It's -- it's an emergency situation and as I said I'm very sympathetic with the VA because it's a real big -- but they ought to take.
Some emergency measures I think because it is it is soluble we could make.
Of the validity of that veterans claim just as we do -- IRS.
The pays a tax refund to a citizen.
And they could be under way.
-- when you -- out of secretary of veterans affairs.
Was it was there's so is it just says that we don't have I don't resource is you don't have enough people on the and the veterans agency.
Is that you don't have the right technology is is there one specific problem you can point to and if you throw some more money out of does -- fix -- No money hasn't solved it because they've thrown a lot of money out of the VA is very generously funded by the congress by the taxpayers is not subject to the sequestration.
-- -- It's a problem if it's rather Byzantine -- this system and there they have by the way.
Paper medical records would -- come out of off of active duty which slows the system down as well.
So there's a lot of reasons that want to give for this to be a long protracted process they have to validate.
That they did have a bad parachute landing fault Fort Bragg and so forth because that's that's part of the duty they have that the judicial.
Duty fiduciary to the taxpayer.
The -- cut through.
A lot of that and I I proposed -- by the way when I was secretary and I couldn't get it through the office of management budget and that's that's what the waiting time by the way.
Was about a 150 days and we had.
Veterans in the Q -- they now have something like 900000.
Veterans in the Q so it's.
It's an emergency and it's it's having a bad impact.
Not only on the perception that people have of the VA which is unfortunate because it's an outstanding organization.
Really takes good care veterans really.
But it's also having a bad morale.
-- on veterans and those that are thinking about becoming a veteran and we have an all volunteer force we have to show.
Just like George -- -- I hope he said if it air base it doesn't take care of its veterans are not gonna have veterans and people won't serve it.
-- you so much for bringing this everybody's attention and I think that the solution that temporary solution.
That you but you've suggested makes more sense than anybody ever heard so thanks so much as a secretary and keep talking about -- -- writing about it.
Thank you -- well thanks very much.
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