WOODBURY - While the nation’s heroes are honored during Veterans Day celebrations nationwide, thousands of veterans are still waiting to hear back about their disability claims.
According to Rep. Steve Israel (D – Huntington), 400,000 veterans will still have their claims backlogged in the Veterans Affairs system tomorrow.
“It’s shameful and it is outrageous, and it’s got to stop,” said Israel.
There were more than 600,000 pending claims as of March.
Israel says that if a claim is not resolved in 125 days, the applicant automatically gets a 40 percent disability rating, and then the VA can take whatever additional time they need to vet the claims.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs announced that it has started making progress. It says that since March, it has processed more than 200,000 disability claims.
A surge of claims has been filed since the end of the Iraq War and as troops return home from Afghanistan.