VA facing massive backlog of pending claims

Updated
File Photo: Capt. George Morris, commander of B Company, 2-502 Infantry, and his soldiers  in the opening salvo of Operation "Patriot Strike." The soldiers...
File Photo: Capt. George Morris, commander of B Company, 2-502 Infantry, and his soldiers in the opening salvo of Operation "Patriot Strike." The soldiers...
: Ben Brody



Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is getting a lot of heat for falling behind on hundreds of thousands of disability claims. Pictures showing piles of claims filling entire rooms went public this week.

To date, the wait for a veteran’s disability claim to be resolved is two years.

John Wypyszinski, who after 16 years in the military and two tours in Iraq had to fight for two and a half years to get his benefits said Sunday that, at one point, he thought he would have been better off  having died in the war.

msnbc’s Richard Lui sat down with retired Colonel Jack Jacobs and New York State Senator Greg Ball , chairman of the Veterans, Homeland Security and  Military Affairs Committee to get their take on why the problem exists and what can be done to repair it.

Jacobs attributes the break down in administering care to veterans to flaws in how the claims are processed. The VA, he says, is unequipped to handle the number of claims that are filed because it’s on a paper system rather than a digitized one.

“We do a very good job at getting young men and women to raise their right hand and are willing to fight and die for their country; we do not do a very good job of transitioning them back into the civilian sector,” said Jacobs.

Fortunately, while other departments are facing budget cuts, Jacobs says, the VA is getting an increase and plans to digitize, hopefully remedying the situation for our vets.

VA facing massive backlog of pending claims

Updated