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Published: Friday, 8/9/2013

U.S. Sen. Brown calls backlog for veterans filing for claims 'inexcusable'

BY IGNAZIO MESSINA
BLADE STAFF WRITER
U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown calls the delays in veterans claims as "Inexcusable". At right is Patrick Grames, of Oregon, an Air Force. U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown calls the delays in veterans claims as "Inexcusable". At right is Patrick Grames, of Oregon, an Air Force.
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The 500,000 veterans across the nation who waiting for claims with the Department of Veterans Affairs to be processed is way too many, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown said while in Toledo today.

“The backlog for people, for veterans filing for their claims, to start with, is inexcusable,” Senator Brown said during a news conference at the Lucas County Veterans Service Commission. “There are hundreds of thousands of claims that have not been processed. The waiting list is far too long. Far too many veterans have had to wait weeks and weeks, and sometimes months and even years before they get their claims processed.”

Senator Brown, a senior member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, called on the Department of Veterans Affairs to eliminate the backlog filed by veterans with disabilities and their caregivers for services and benefits.

The senator said the Veterans Services Outreach Act would significantly reduce their wait by providing veterans the information and assistance they need to improve their claims. Also, the Claims Processing Improvement Act would give the VA the tools it needs to deal with the backlog.

Rick Glover, a Lucas County Veterans Services Officer, acknowledged that the wait for veterans can be long.

“I just want my veterans to know that they are not in this alone,” Mr. Glover said. “Our sole purpose is to help them.”

Patrick Grames, an Air Force veteran who lives in Oregon, said he has waited more than two years to receive his disability benefits.

“I feel that with the advancements in technology it is not acceptable to have these kinds of delays for veterans,” Mr. Grames said. “The process could be expedited.”



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