Today, Congressman John Boehner (R-West Chester) highlighted four veterans in the infographic below, all of whom have been waiting unacceptably long for a decision on their disability claims from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Jeff Caron, Kenneth Abney, David Barrett, and Jason Derrough - shown in the infographic - are veterans from the Congressman's home district and have been waiting for a combined 2,170 days for a decision from the VA. The average wait time in Ohio currently stands at 368 days and nationally at 291 days.
Today, Secretary Eric Shinseki is visiting the Cleveland Veterans Affairs Regional Office (VARO) - the VARO responsible for claims from the Eighth District -- where he will have the opportunity to assess the faltering plan to transform the disability claims system.
Congressman Boehner commented, "I am hopeful that the VA Secretary's visit to the Cleveland VARO is more than just another photo-op. I have requested that the VA outline a real plan, with benchmarks, deadlines, and specific measurements of progress, to address the backlog, and maybe we will get a glimpse of that plan today."
"But I'm afraid we've been through this all before - a visit to Ohio from the VA leadership with a hopeful discussion of reaching goals, followed by no change to the broken system, increasing delays, and unfulfilled promises. These four veterans and all of our nation's veterans deserve better. I hope that this visit is not just going to add another day to the delayed decisions for thousands of veterans in Ohio."
NOTE: Congressman Boehner has sent two letters to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs in the past three months calling for real action and requesting a coherent plan from the VA to address the massive claims backlog.