Okay taxpayers, would you rather pay the compensation the United States has promised to disabled, injured veterans and surviving spouses of soldiers being killed in Iraq and Afghanistan…or shell out billions of dollars seemingly on request to investment bankers who sold each other worthless securites? It seems that the VA is stockpiling veterans’ claims, and literally shoving them into desk drawers. At the same time, Congress barely blinks an eye at the huge corporations begging for a refill to their bankrupt coffers.
Here’s the latest on the VA claims fiasco:
“A new report about Veterans Affairs Department employees squirreling away tens of thousands of unopened letters related to benefits claims is sparking fresh concerns that veterans and their survivors are being cheated out of money.
VA officials acknowledge further credibility problems based on a new report of a previously undisclosed 2007 incident in which workers at a Detroit regional office turned in 16,000 pieces of unprocessed mail and 717 documents turned up in New York in December during amnesty periods in which workers were promised no one would be penalized.
“Veterans have lost trust in VA,” Michael Walcoff, VA’s under secretary for benefits, said…”
Note: Aside from disability , medical, and survivor claims, there is a serious problem involving homelessness of veterans. “Firm estimates of the number of homeless Iraq war veterans are hard to come by. In June 2005, the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans reported the number of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) veterans seeking assistance from community-based homeless services providers had exceeded 400.
The group Veterans for America, formerly the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation, estimates that 10,000 veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan are now living on the street.
Activists concerned about increases in the number of homeless veterans argue for greater federal investment in affordable housing and social services. Of particular concern is the wait for mental health care, which can run as long as six months.
A recent study by Harvard�s Kennedy School of Government found that by the time the Iraq and Afghanistan wars end, there will be at least 2.5 million vets. Because of that, the Harvard study concluded, Congress will have to double the Veteran Administration�s budget simply to avoid cutting services”. [finalcall.com]