Veterans Demand Expedited Service To Benefit Claims | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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Veterans Demand Expedited Service To Benefit Claims

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Veterans from across country are storming Capitol Hill this week demanding that lawmakers expedite a backlog of veteran's benefits clams.

The numbers are staggering. Nearly 900,000 veterans are waiting for the Department of Veterans Affairs to process their disability claims. On average, it takes 273 days for a claim to be processed by the VA, according to the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. Group founder Paul Rieckhoff says that's not good enough.

"It's a paperwork process," he says. "It's not putting someone on Mars. We should be able to fix this backlog once and for all."

This week, veterans went to more than 100 lawmaker's offices demanding a solution. Members of the group also met with defense officials and the White House chief of staff. Rieckhoff says his group has a simple message.

"We have not heard an adequate response back from the president," he says. "We are calling on the president. Mr. President, we served when we were called. Now we're calling on you to serve. End the VA backlog. End it now."

The VA says the problem will be fixed in 2015, which these veterans say is unacceptable.

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