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Veterans Take VA to Task Over Long Waits in Oakland

Town Hall Reveals Veterans’ Anger at VA’s Chronic Delays and Errors

Yesterday, more than 200 Veterans packed the San Francisco War Memorial Building demanding answers and assistance for their pending disability benefit claims.  The public event was organized by Reps. Jackie Speier and Barbara Lee, both California Democrats, in response to a VA Office of Inspector General audit confirming veterans’ complaints about significant errors and delays at VA’s Oakland Regional Office.

At the event, hundreds of Veterans asked VA for help with their delayed claims.  However, VA didn’t have enough staff to help all the Veterans.  News accounts reported half of the Veterans left the Town Hall event without getting any help from VA.

The event received widespread news coverage by the Bay Citizen, KGO-TV (ABC), San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, and CBS News.

VA’s Oakland Regional Office is the tip of the iceberg for a nationwide crisis, where more than one million Veterans now wait for VA claim decisions.  Testifying before Congress in April, Bergmann & Moore’s Paul Sullivan warned lawmakers about VA’s deteriorating error rates and chronic delays.

After the Town Hall event, the American Federation of Government Employees union demanded more staff, and a local AFGE union plan an information picket at VA’s Columbia Regional Office in South Carolina.

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