Congressman: 875K Vets Waiting 4 Months Or Longer For Benefits

Congressman: 875,000 Veterans Waiting 4 Months Or Longer For Benefits

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PHILADELPHIA -

Rep. Chaka Fattah of Philadelphia tells FOX 29 there are 875,000 veterans who have waited more than four months to get the benefits they deserve from Veteran's Affairs.

Fattah, a senior member of the U.S. House Appropriations Committee, who has a Veterans Affairs claim center and hospital in his district, says "this has been a decades-old problem for hundreds of thousands of veterans."

Fattah, in an interview with FOX 29 last week, listed a number of reasons for the long wait for benefits.

He said "not only is Veterans Affairs largely paperwork dependent, its computers often have different operating and software systems." Fattah also said there are walls of paper files still to be entered into VA computers.

Fattah argues the Congress and the Obama Administration are working on the problems. He says 17 billion in additional funding has been provided to the VA and more case workers have been added. He says there is a new effort underway to get some of the old records on computers, and it seems to be working well.

The Congressman still sees a number of challenges for Veterans Affairs.

He says case workers carry about a 400 case workload. He is concerned that the files of older veterans are sometimes lost causing their cases to drag on for years.

FOX 29's Claudia Gomez had been reporting recently on veterans from wars long past who have had to fight another battle to get the benefits they believe they deserve.

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