COLUMBUS - 

In an effort to help military veterans gain access to critical treatment, the Ohio House of Representatives today passed House Concurrent Resolution 21, which urges President Barack Obama, the U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and the U.S. Congress to take prompt action to reduce the processing time for veterans’ disability claims.


Over the past year, the average wait time for a decision regarding a medical claim has increased from two months to more than 260 days. As of April, there were more than 850,000 claims awaiting a decision. Additionally, from January 2009 to December 2012, the number of veterans waiting more than a year for their disability claims increased by 2,000 percent.


“When men and women who served the United States in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan come back home, it’s extremely important that we properly care for them,” Rep. Mark Romanchuk (R-Ontario) said. “The resolution passed by the House amplifies the voices of Ohioans who believe that the delays in resolving disability claims for our veterans is unacceptable and that something must be done.”


The United States Government Accountability Office reports that between fiscal years 2009 and 2012, the average length of time for the Department of Veterans Affairs to complete a disability claim increased from 161 days to 260 days, and that the number of backlogged claims—which have been awaiting a decision for more than 125 days—has more than tripled since September 2009. The office also reports that appeals processing at the department’s regional offices has slowed by 56 percent over the past several years.


House Concurrent Resolution 21 passed from the House with unanimous support.

 
 
 
  
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