POSTED: Wednesday, September 4, 2013 - 5:52pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, September 4, 2013 - 8:31pm
El Paso, TX (KTSM) — Veterans put in years, energy, and sometimes shed blood for our country. In El Paso, the average veteran is waiting over 400 days to hear back from their government on the status of their disability claims. For veterans like David Jones playing the waiting game for his disability checks is a game he cannot afford to lose. "Working with the VA, it's not as easy as it should be,” David Jones told us.
Jones served in the Army for 24 years and says he went through headaches just to get temporary disability. He’s hoping the event he attended, will get him permanent disability benefits quicker. "This is a break the bottleneck event that is trying to get a faster resolution."
Congressman Beto O'Rourke teamed up with the Texas Veteran's Commission to help alleviate the VA backlog in the Sun City. "If they're waiting 400 days to get a response back from their government, that's 400 days they're going without benefits,” Congressman O’Rourke [D] said. The congressman explained veterans who receive help at the event are looking at a wait time of no more than 100 days.
But for Army veteran Pete Hollem, it's not a matter of waiting for a disability claim to come through. "You gotta take care of the old guys,” Hollem told us. He's worried veterans his age who file new claims for in home care services may not get the help they need because of budget cuts. "When some body's firing bullets at you, you know, you've earned it."
Hollem said Veterans have done their part."If you come back from that alive, it's been a wonderful deal.” And now they're asking the government to do theirs.
If you need assistance filing your claim, you may call Congressman O’Rourke’s office at (915) 541-1400.