All seven members of Connecticut's congressional delegation today sent a letter to Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) Eric Shinseki, voicing serious concerns that delays in benefits payments and a lack of sufficient staff in the VA's Hartford Regional Office are hurting Connecticut veterans and their families.
The Department of Veterans Affairs Fiduciary Program, which protects the benefits paid to veterans and their families who are unable to manage their financial affairs, was recently consolidated into a hub at the Regional office in Indianapolis. The only remaining role in this program for the Hartford Regional Office is performing field examinations and processing the associated paperwork.
"It has recently come to our attention that there is only one Field Examiner working to complete all of the exams in the State of Connecticut," the lawmakers wrote. "These veterans and widows have often been waiting many months just for an initial decision on their claims. These veterans and their families generally have bills to pay such as mortgages and medical bills, and are frequently in dire need of these funds. We would greatly appreciate specific plans to remedy this situation, both nationally and in Connecticut, by providing an adequate number of Field Examiners sufficient to meet the needs of our veterans and their families."