Ohio is celebrating its 212th birthday with special events at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus.
Rep. Joyce Beatty Wants VA Claims Processed Faster
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Ohioâ€™s 3rd district congresswoman Joyce Beatty says her office is working aggressively with the Veterans Administration to help veterans receive overdue benefits.
By its own admission the VAâ€™s compensation claims backlog is a decades old problem. Representative Beatty says the wait is significant in her district which lies entirely in Franklin County.
â€œWe found out with our cases that 85 percent of them â€“ it doesnâ€™t matter what the number is â€“ but to have 85 percent of those individuals with case waits of more than 125 days and then to look at the number that are over two years â€“ almost 70 percent of those cases. So I knew that I needed to do something,â€ Beatty says.
Beatty says sheâ€™s met with the head of the VA and has also signed a letter of concern which carries the signatures of the rest of the Ohio congressional delegation.
The VA has promised, and Congresswoman Beatty has endorsed, the implementation of a new 60-day initiative.
â€œIf you had a backlog of a year or more they were going to institute a plan within 60 days they would at least start processing your claim,â€ Beatty says.
Doctor Dennis Agin is a Vietnam Veteran whoâ€™s been fighting for benefits on behalf of other vets. Heâ€™s doubtful that the newly elected Beatty has enough political clout to bring about change quickly. He also does not place a lot of faith in the VA.
â€œThe VA is totally inept and the people that they hire. And when they decide, â€˜Weâ€™re not going to talk to you,â€™ and give you a reason that is totally wrong and you canâ€™t do anything about it,â€ Agin says.
The VA predicts it will eliminate the backlog of claims by 2015.