1,800 new case workers for a 600,000 backlog of claims?
VA gets $3.7 billion to hire more caseworkers
By Kelly Kennedy - Staff writer
Posted : Thursday Jan 17, 2008 18:01:29 EST
President Bush signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2008 today, handing over an extra $3.7 billion to the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Bush had to sign the act by Jan. 18, or VA would have lost the promised extra funding, which will be used to hire and train people to process the backlog of more than 600,000 benefits claims, said Dave Autry, spokesman for Disabled American Veterans. Some of the money also will go toward medical research for conditions such as traumatic brain injuries.
DAV and nine other veterans service organizations began a letter-writing campaign last week calling on veterans to urge Bush to sign the act in time for VA to get the extra money.
“For 5.8 million veterans, this new funding means more qualified doctors and nurses to improve medical services,” Rep. Chet Edwards, D-Texas, said in a statement.
Edwards chairs the House Appropriations subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs.
“For the 400,000 veterans, including combat-wounded vets, who are having to wait too long to have their [health] benefits cases reviewed, this bill means over 1,800 new VA caseworkers to reduce the unacceptable delays in receiving earned benefits,” Edwards said. “For veterans with traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, mental health care issues, and lost limbs, this bill means renewed hope to rebuild their lives.”
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400,000 and how many of them are newly wounded? How many of them have PTSD and need to get into help as soon as possible? What have all these years of waiting for them to do the right thing produced this far? How many of our wounded would still be here instead of committing suicide if last year there were enough? The year before that or the year before that? Are they kidding with this?