I went to a town hall regarding the disability claim backlog yesterday. Representatives Jackie Speier and Barbara Lee held this event to discuss the nearly one million claim backlog that has been a dark spot on the VA.
Many veterans of all generations were there telling how they’ve waited for decisions with very little (if any) action from the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA). Tales of lost records, no response, denials where clear evidence was presented were all too common.
My biggest issue? The people from the Oakland Regional Office treating this as just a monetary issue. The money will help these Veterans. There’s no question about that.
Having a claim adjudicated in the Veterans favor is more than just a check. It’s an acknowledgement that something happened to you in the service of the country. Something that is still plaguing that Veteran as they try to maintain a life as a civilian. It’s a step towards becoming whole again.
We volunteered to put out lives on the line in defense of this country. Some gave their lives. Some came home with wounds that are invisible.
But ALL Veterans deserve to have their disability claim to be handled in a quick, dignified manner. I didn’t ask a million questions on 9/11 when I was told to help keep my fellow citizens safe. Don’t treat me like a 2nd class citizen waiting for a check. We don’t deserve that. We deserve better.