After VA backlog, veteran's claim is processed - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

After VA backlog, veteran's claim is processed

Update: on 7/11/14, Austin notified WIS the VA had processed his claim and his children are now listed on his disability.

Jason Austin still has photos of his time as an Army combat medic.

For Austin, the time he spent serving his country is a part of his life he can't go back to and it's not by his own choice.

"I was in Basic Training and I got hit by a car doing PT one morning," Austin said.

Austin suffered a pinched nerve in his neck from the accident, but continued to serve in the Army for another three and a half years before being medically retired.

Since 2009, Austin said he has received disability compensation from the VA. When he married with 2012, he said he tried to update his disability claim to add his wife's children as dependents. Today, he's still waiting.

"It says the claim should have been finished in January of this year," Austin said, "but when you call them, they just say the claim is behind and the typical claim is eight to 10 months."

Austin isn't alone.

After contacting the VA to learn more about the claims backlog, WIS did not receive a call back. However, the number of backlogged claims were found on the VA website.

It's down from a record high in 2012, but the total number of claims only rose about 3,000. The number of backlogged claims rose by 6,000.

"You really don't get any help," Austin said.

For now, Austin can only sit and wait hoping he doesn't have to wait another year to find out about his claim.

"It's tax free and it adds up and helps me take care of my family," Austin said.

Other veterans have said it has taken months for their claims to be processed. Now, the question remains why the VA has such a backlog.

Copyright 2014 WIS. All rights reserved.

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