Each year, the Veterans Benefits Administration is responsible for distributing more than $95 billion worth of benefits to veterans. These include disability money and pensions to veterans and spouses of veterans, along with death benefits. However, a new investigation from CBS News reveals that there has been tremendous mismanagement of benefits claims, and many veterans across the country failed to get what they deserved. Some of these veterans even died before they were ever able to receive their entitled benefits from the VA.
These problems are being revealed less than a year after the Phoenix VA scandal, which awoke the nation to the numerous problems associated with wait times at VA hospitals.
Five different whistleblowers at the Veterans Benefits office in Oakland, California revealed this new problem, sharing with investigators that there were more than 13,000 informal benefits claims filed between 1996 and 2009 that were ignored until 2012. Informal claims are letters that veterans send saying that they would like to apply for benefits. The VA is obligated by law to respond to these letters with an application for the veteran to fill out.
In one particular incident that highlights the problem, the VA sent Dorris Stafford a letter in July 2014 thanking her husband Wayne (a veteran of the Army) for his disability claim. However, he filed that claim in 2004 and died in a 2008 accident. Dorris is now reported to live in a home that does not have electricity.
When one of the whistleblowers raised concerns about the number of veterans who died waiting for a response from the VA, she was taken off the project. These are nationwide problems — lost claims and poor record keeping have already been proven to plague the VA in other areas, so it is not particularly surprising that the agency could owe benefits to thousands of veterans across the country.
If you believe the VA owes you veterans benefits and you have not heard a response, contact the attorneys of Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban Please call 866-866-VETS or contact us online to learn more. We serve veterans nationwide.
Thank to Mr. Spencer I was able to get my VA disability claim re-reviewed and given another chance to receive disability. By far he is one of the most professional lawyers I have ever dealt with. So Veterans if you are looking for help with your VA disability claim I would suggest that you hire Macari, Russotto, Spencer, & Balaban. Thanks again for everything.
— Alfred Daye
As a disabled veteran trying to navigate the complexities of the Veterans Administrations regulations, I turned to the law firm of Marcari, Russotto, Spencer and Balaban. They helped me understand what I needed to do and prepared and presented to the VA an excellent presentation of my case. I recommend them for your legal needs.
— Harry Johnson
I was very satisfied with the excellent and professional manner the law firm handled my claim. I highly recommend any veteran who needs help with his or her claim to use Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban P.C. Special thanks to Mr Spencer for being very professional and courteous during the appeal process. Again Thanks to the entire firm for a job well done!
— Luther Henderson
My husband & I highly recommend this law form to any veteran trying to navigate the endless red tape of the VA. We turned to Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban to handle my husband's appeal and could not have been happier. We enjoyed open and consistent communication regarding our case. Any questions we had were answered immediately.
— Michele DeZayas
Amanda Medina-Morales was our point of contact and she kept us up to date on the progress of our case. It was a pleasure and relief knowing that someone truly competent and professional was handling this and fighting for us.
— Michele DeZayas