This editorial will appear in Tuesday’s print edition.
The Department of Veterans Affairs’ delays in acting on disability claims isn’t just inconvenient. Congressional testimony Thursday indicates that at least two veterans may have died “due to delay in care.”
That would be the most extreme result of the VA’s backlog, which doesn’t appear to be decreasing. Most regional offices are experiencing longer processing times, according to auditors and a review of VA data by McClatchy Newspapers.
The average wait to begin receiving disability compensation is now 337 days at the Seattle office – more than 11 months – up from 213 days in January 2012. It’s even worse in New York City: 641 days. The number of vets with backlogged claims is expected to be more than 1 million by the end of March – and keep growing. Read more »