By the end of June there was a report out of the Tampa Tribune with this piece of news released in a report saying that the VA had decided 2,100 claims for Florida veterans.
The St. Petersburg VA Regional Office will now join in VA efforts to complete the disability claims of veterans who have been waiting more than one year for a decision, while completing the final batch of oldest claims in progress, according to the release.
The office has been the subject of complaints by veterans, some of whom have waited more than 560 days for a decision.
It also had this in it.
The Tribune obtained documents compiled by the St. Petersburg regional office that showed nearly 70 percent of veterans seeking compensation through that office wait at least 125 days for a rating, a formula that determines how much compensation they receive.
Aside from the different figures used by different sources on the same subject, there is one more thing that has to be pointed out. This is not a new problem for veterans. There was a backlog in 2007, 2008 and 2009 but there were also huge backlogs long before the media decided it was important enough to cover. Unless the VA is fixed for real they will keep seeing more suffering while waiting.
Local veteran to seek answers from state senators
August 12, 2013
Action News discovered the average wait for Florida veterans is 240 days.JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The men and women who fight for our freedom are fighting a new battle here at home.
"If a veteran is waiting on mental healthcare, health care, they can't wait two to four years. They need the assistance right away because the damage they're doing to their families and their communities and themselves is on-going."ongoing."
Armed with a legislative agenda, one local veteran is taking the message straight to some of our highest-elected, most prominent local leaders.
Ret. Air Force Sgt. Kris Braddock served more than 20 years in the military.
"Look out for the bad guys, when you see them out there planting bombs ... call in artillery and kill them," said Braddock.
The Clay County man lived to serve his country and he was recognized for doing it. His living room showcases10 medals and 18 ribbons that highlight an illustrious career.
But he says serving can come at a high price. He now sees a mental health counselor after experiencing a traumatic brain injury.
The father of two served a tour in Iraq from 2003-2004 and completed a stint in Afghanistan from 2010-2012.
"Honestly," said Braddock. "most of the people in my peer group are suffering and I admit, I'm one of them."
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