Hours of paperwork, denied claims, and a severe backlog is what many central Texas soldiers have to go through just to file for disability.
Paul Sullivan, Veterans Outreach Director for Bergmann and Moore law firm in Washington D.C. says if the claim is denied the appeal process could take twice as long.
"Right now the VA's claim processing system is broken," Sullivan said.
He's a Gulf War veteran himself and is here in Waco to work with veterans who want to appeal a denied claim.
Sullivan and Veterans Affairs Officer Steve Hernandez says appealing a claim is completely different than making one.
"[The soldier] has to come up with more information whether it's records, or new evidence that he did not present before," Hernandez said.
That evidence involves more paper work that's sent to the Board of Veteran's Appeals Office. If the appeal is denied there, he or she can try it again through the Veterans Court of Appeals.
Sullivan also says the VA system is old and outdated too.
"Simply the VA system based on paper, using old regulations, is overwhelmed and crushed."
According to the US Department of Veterans Affairs 900,000 veterans are waiting for an answer on their claim. That could take up to nine months to process. 250,000 veterans are waiting for an answer on their appeals. The appeal process alone could take up to 10 years.
Tonight Sullivan and Hernandez will hold a town hall meeting for Veterans. They will explain the appeals process and help them win it.
if you are interested in going that meeting it's tonight at VFW Post 8564 on North 18th street in Waco at 7 p.m.
Saturday, May 25 2013 12:04 AM EDT2013-05-25 04:04:15 GMT
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