Veterans Asked To Help VA Claims

He says 1.3 million claims are backlogged because the Veterans' Affairs Administration does everything via paper and not computer.

On Wednesday, he e-mailed the other 87 veterans services offices in Ohio to bring a unity among them.

"We need to wake up a sleeping giant put pressure on our governor, state lawmakers, all the way up to the White House to give veterans what they deserve and what they were promised," said Bare in a news release.

He hopes that if enough veterans band together, politicians will take notice and try to fix the lagging problem.

Down the hall from Bare is Army veteran Alicia Peace. She falls in line of a long family history of military service. Now, she works as a Veterans' Service Officer. She helps veterans file claims for benefits like: disability compensation, non service connected disability compensation, pensions, death compensation for surviving family members.

"Six months to one year," Peace explained is the waiting period to receive a reply to most claims. She acknowledged that some claims are not completed or are inaccurate, which accounts for delays and denials.

"It's frustrating for me as a service officer, because I am here to help the veterans," said Peace. "I'm on the other side of the desk myself. I have a VA claim in. I've sent in medical evidence… everything that is required," added Peace who sent in her claim seven months ago.

Peace explains there is no pattern with the VA. Some of the claims she has filed on behalf of her clients are answered within a month. "Sometimes I think it depends on whose desk it falls on."

Bare says the solution is to bring awareness to all 24 million veterans nationwide, but his plan is to start locally.

"There is power in numbers and I am calling on all of our veterans to unite behind this matter and stop the practice of putting veterans' benefits and rights on the back burner," said Bare.

Copyright 2010 The E.W. Scripps Co. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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