A recent CBS News investigation revealed 1,758 VA patients killed themselves in 2005. All told, the network estimated that more than 120 veterans commit suicide every week in the United States.
Suicides among veterans average 18 a day, by the government’s estimation, and a backlog of disability claims for post-traumatic stress disorder and other untreated ailments approaches 1 million. Veterans are losing their homes, unable to pay for medical expenses, some die awaiting years for VA claims to be processed.
Hundreds of thousands of veterans, many approaching the winter of their lives, awaiting VA disability claim decisions that will provide or deny a key source of income.
Veterans want a federal appeals court to order the Department of Veterans Affairs to make good on the nation’s commitment to take care of those wounded in mind as well as body. The VA must speed up the processing times for disability claims and medical files should be better automated to be more easily accessible for claims processing.