The Center for Investigative Reporting’s (CIR) review of internal Veterans Affairs documents reveals that the number of veterans waiting for disability compensation has increased 2000% under President Barack Obama.
“The ranks of veterans waiting more than a year for their benefits grew from 11,000 in 2009, the first year of Obama’s presidency, to 245,000 in December–an increase of more than 2,000 percent,” writes the CIR.
The bureaucratic backlog has also affected the number of widows waiting for their $600 to $2,000 burial benefit to swell from 23,000 to 65,000 during Obama’s first term.
The Daily Beast reports that four years ago wait times for funeral subsidies were two months; under Obama, it has ballooned to 207 days:
In addition, 50,000 survivors were waiting an average of 229 days to find out whether they qualified for a pension–twice as long as in 2009. That part of the backlog is especially tragic, observers say, because most of the survivors are elderly widows who depended on their husbands’ VA pensions before their deaths.
Reasons cited for the disability backlog include the influx of veterans coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan.
The reason for the burial benefit delays remains unclear, as there has been “no substantial increase” in the number of widows requesting burial benefits or pensions.