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Vets Day in Court

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  • Vets Day in Court

    Time with CNN

    Saturday, Jan. 12, 2008

    Veterans Day in Court
    By Michael Weisskopf

    When veterans of America's two current wars Iraq and Afghanistan tried to sue the Department of Veterans Affairs for failing to process thousands of claims for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the Department waved them off saying they had no right to do so. The VA said that Congress had set up an administrative not judicial process for evaluating individual disability claims. The veterans, it declared, just had to wait for bureaucracy to take its course no matter that it has a backlog of 600,000 unresolved claims, each of which can take up to six months or more to process.

    Now, however, a federal judge in San Francisco has cleared the way for a dramatic challenge to the constitutionality of the VA's claims system. Judge Samuel Conti of the Northern District of California ruled that the administrative system is not "adequate" for reviewing claims of organizations suing on behalf of a broad class of veterans (the class-action lawsuit was filed in July by two veterans organizations). Nor is that bureaucratic process empowered to grant the kind of relief sought by the veterans groups: systemic changes in the VA's processing of disability claims, strengthened rights of individual veterans to press their claims and immediate medical and psychological help for returning troops complaining of PTSD symptoms.

    The suit claims that the VA violates the constitutional rights of PTSD victims by denying them medical care and benefits as well as the power to hire outside attorneys and obtain records in their disability petitions. Proponents of the suit point out that the VA's immense backlog of claims leads to delays in treatment, often compounding PTSD symptoms, contributing to substance abuse and suicide.

    Entire article here;
    http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1703091,00.html
    Deborah

  • #2
    PTSD win in court

    Thanks for sharing this! It's about time a judge took on the VA and this backed up system. These poor vets are loosing their homes, families and even lives to suicide while the VA takes their sweet time with this backlog.

    Mary

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