New reports suggest the number of veterans waiting more than four months to receive benefits has doubled since last year
We talked with veterans in both Iowa and Minnesota who say once in the VA system the medical service is excellent. But gaining access to those services is currently a lengthy process.
"Minnesota was quick, I got help from Iowa too when we came back, but it's been way easier than the Vietnam era," said Burgett.
"A lot of World War II veterans you really had to convince them to try the system now, 'I was turned down many years ago and I'm not going back,' you know that's an attitude thing, but you don't hear that very often now," he said. Another factor in the increase in claims is because the VA expanded the number of illnesses which could be linked to Agent Orange: A chemical used to deforest the jungles of Vietnam.
He says the long term solution lies in making changes to the system, not only utilizing technology, but how veterans are treated.
“I think we need to become more efficient, if we don’t get a virtual or lifetime electronic record instituted for everybody, it’s going to be hard to reduce it very far, and then I think we need to have a discussion in this country of what’s an appropriate time to process these,” said Walz.