November 24th, 2013
May 22nd, 2013
February 11th, 2013

The Shooter

The Navy Seal who killed Osama bin Laden left the military with no pension, few job prospects and no protection for himself or his family. Why does one of the most decorated combat veterans of our age have no landing pad in civilian life?

For the first time, the man responsible for killing Al Qaeda’s leader tells his story, giving an in-depth look at the raid that changed history, and how the U.S. government has failed to help its most skilled warriors when they return home from service. Read the full story, produced in cooperation with Esquire.

August 30th, 2012

Winston-Salem VA office has a paperwork problem

Yesterday, we launched a new investigation revealing the extent of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ backlog in processing disabled veterans’ benefits claims. In a new report, the VA Office of Inspector General offers visual evidence of the backlog at the regional office in Winston-Salem, N.C., where paperwork for the claims is piled so high it has “created an unsafe workspace for VARO employees and appeared to have the potential to compromise the integrity of the building.”

According to the report, the sheer volume and haphazard storage of the files prevents employees from easily accessing them, and puts the claims at increased risk of being lost or damaged. 

With more than 50,000 veterans currently waiting on a decision for their disability benefits, the Winston-Salem office has one of the highest number of outstanding claims of all VA offices in the country. Explore our new interactive map to see how long veterans are waiting in your area. 

Photo courtesy of VAOIG

August 29th, 2012

Disabled veterans stuck in backlog limbo

Disabled troops returning from combat face an unexpected battle: the Department of Veterans Affairs’ growing stack of disability benefit claims, leading to processing delays of eight months or more.

In the worst cases, some VA offices - like Los Angeles’ - are so far behind that even if no new claims were filed, it could take almost three years for the backlog to be cleared.

So how long are veterans waiting your area? Find out by exploring our new interactive map - which shows wait times from around the country.

Do you have experience filing a veterans disability claim? Take a minute to help inform our reporting by sharing your experience

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At The Center for Investigative Reporting, we believe journalism that moves citizens to action is an essential pillar of democracy. Since 1977, CIR has relentlessly pursued and uncovered injustices that otherwise would be hidden from the public eye. Today, we are upholding this legacy and looking forward, working at the forefront of journalistic innovation to produce important stories that make a difference and engage our audiences across the aisle, coast to coast, and worldwide. What drives our work isn't profit – it's impact. Learn more at http://cironline.org/

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