News Broadcast Highlights Death of Veteran After Battle with VBA.
Bergmann & Moore’s Paul Sullivan was on FOX News again last night. Paul discussed the tragic plight of Harold Frazier, a Vietnam War veteran who served with the Army’s 101st Airborne Division. As a Private First Class, Frazier earned a Bronze Star Medal in the conflict.
Unfortunately, Harold died in November 2012 after fighting more than nine years for the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) to accurately process his disability claim for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Our thoughts and condolences go out to Harold’s family, as he was a client here at Bergmann & Moore.
However, Harold isn’t alone in the tragedy. Nationwide, nearly 20,000 veterans died in 2012 while waiting on a VBA claim decision, according to Aaron Glantz, a journalist with the Center for Investigative Reporting. That’s more than 53 Veteran deaths every day while waiting on VBA. Harold’s family poignantly describes how he tried to commit suicide due to his war experiences. He spent the last few years of his life in a futile effort against VBA.
In response to the heavy national and local news coverage of VBA’s serious and significant claim delay and error crisis, VBA’s Under Secretary for Benefits Allison Hickey posted a blog at VA’s web site today. She acknowledged “Veterans, their families and survivors wait too long for the benefits they have earned and deserve.”
Hickey promised Veterans and families that urgently needed VBA reforms are on the way. VBA’s top political appointee concluded, “The good news is we are on the right path to succeed and deliver faster, more accurate results for Veterans.”
The fatal impact of VBA’s long delays, chronic mistakes, and constant appeals are known as VBA’s “hamster wheel.” Our thanks go to FOX News reporter Doug Kennedy for reporting the salient, accurate, and poignant facts about VBA. We truly hope VBA reduces and eliminates mistakes and delays and thus ends the catastrophic hamster wheel.
We should all agree: no Veteran should ever die waiting on VBA. No Veteran should have to jump through bureaucratic hoops and wait years for earned benefits, especially a decorated Vietnam War veteran diagnosed with PTSD who waited more than nine years for a complete and accurate VBA rating decision.