Excerpt from: Penn Live (click for full article)
Mona Johnson developed a chronic lung condition while serving in the Army during Desert Storm.
Her lung function is so compromised she is unable to walk and talk at the same time, and if she climbs a flight of stairs, she has to pause a few minutes to catch her breath at the top.
Intent on getting the recompence promised to her when she enlisted, Johnson filed a disability claim with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
That was two years ago.
Since then, the Susquehanna Twp. resident has been negotiating a system plagued with one of them most chronic backlogs of any federal agency.
“What other agency do you know that takes this long just to process claims?” Johnson said.
Nearly a million veterans have disability claims pending with Veterans Affairs. About 70 percent of those claims are 125 days or older. The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America claim that on average, veterans wait 273 days - or about nine months - for benefits. Copious other reports citing considerably longer waits, in some cases, upwards of five years, have prompted a bipartisan call in Washington for reform.