There has been talk about revamping the way the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) operates and the reason why was on full display in San Francisco recently. Veterans young and old turned out to voice their concerns about delays in the handling of disability claims at a recent event hosted by Rep. Jackie Speier, the Los Angeles Times reports.
At issue was the amount of time some veterans have to wait to find out if they qualify for disability benefits. The problem is especially bad at the Oakland VA office, where it takes veterans an average of 320 days to find out if they qualify. The national average is not much better, with an average wait of 256 days.
"I'd like to use this opportunity to express to the VA benefits section how the unnecessary delay and loss of documents and mishandling of information caused added stress and anxiety to my already difficult life," Iraq veteran Ari Sonnenberg told the crowd, according to the Times.
Officials are taking steps to improve the services the VA offers. Along with the Department of Defense, the VA recently announced a push to have all healthcare records available online by 2017, Stars and Stripes reports.