December 20th, 2012

Kale Alderson stands at the grave of his father, World War II veteran James Alderson, at Glen Oaks Memorial Park in Chico. James Alderson died in September, but the VA didn’t grant his pension benefits until three months later.

The VA’s inability to pay benefits to veterans before they die is increasingly common, according to data that we’ve obtained. It, for the first time, that long wait times are contributing to tens of thousands of veterans being approved for disability benefits and pensions only after it is too late for the money to help them.

In the fiscal year that ended in September, the agency paid $437 million in retroactive benefits to the survivors of nearly 19,500 veterans who died waiting.

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    Why can’t we take care of our veterans? If the government gets one thing right, this should be it.
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