Veterans waiting for overdue claims - Wandtv.com, NewsCenter17, StormCenter17, Central Illinois News-

Veterans waiting for overdue claims

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As veterans are honored for their service, they face another battle on the homefront getting VA approved claims. 

Lee Maurer was in the service for 17 and a half years, some of that time spent serving in Vietnam.

Today he's waiting for the government to serve him his disability claim, a process he started over a year ago.

"I'm hoping to get something," Maurer said.

Because anything will help Maurer pay for the over one hundred dollars he spends each month on his medication.

But he's been told he'll have to wait another 18 months.

"It just seems like they're just keep dragging it on, dragging it on," he said.  "I think that they should get on, get going, get this done instead of worrying about other things.

And Maurer's not alone. The government is behind on hundreds of thousands of claims that are piling up.

"Nine hundred thousand veterans are waiting for their disability claims to be approved," said Paul Rieckhoff, CEO and founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. "Over 900 thousand are stuck in the backlog."

And they could be stuck there for a couple more years.

"The VA tells us it will be done by the end of 2015," he said. "That's too long. These veterans should not have to wait that long for the benefits they deserve."

"Some of these veterans, I'm not saying me, but some of these veterans need the money now. Not two years from now but now," Maurer said.

But right now all Maurer can do is wait.

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