Outrageous This WWII Vet Waited 67 Years For VA Benefits Because of Missing Records
All too often, America's servicemen and women bravely serve our nation only to find themselves fighting a new battle at home. Many veterans are struggling to get benefits due to missing or incomplete Department of Veterans Affairs records.
World War II vet Stanley Friedman suffered from PTSD, but he was blocked from benefits for 67 years as the VA failed to locate documents proving his service. With the help of pro bono lawyers, he was finally able to gain access to benefits.
Friedman enjoyed three-and-a-half years of disability benefits before passing away peacefully in February at the age of 94.
In addition to that terrible mix-up, more than 200,000 disability claims are still backlogged at the VA.
Amber Smith, combat veteran and Concerned Veterans for America advisor, said on "Fox and Friends Weekend" that it's unbelievable that senior veterans such as Friedman must seek out legal action to get their benefits.
"That's not the way it should be," Smith stated.
"A lot of military servicemen and women when they are active duty, they're not focusing on making sure their records are kept up-to-date with everything that happened medically. So when they get out and they're trying to prove some of the things that happened, they face a very unfriendly system that sort of makes you prove it instead of saying, 'These are some of the symptoms I face, and I’m looking for help for it.'"
Smith said her recommendation is for veterans to never, ever send something to the VA without ensuring they have copies of it. It's all too common that it will be lost and never seen again.
As for the 200,000-plus backlogged claims, Smith noted that it's better than the peak of 600,000 in 2013, but added that the VA has promised that the backlog will be eliminated by the end of 2015.
"That's rapidly approaching and with still over 200,000 backlogged claims, it's not looking like they're going to meet that deadline."
Watch the "Fox and Friends Weekend" clip above.
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