Iraq War Veterans: Are They Being Cheated On Medical Benefits?
Beyond the scars and the physical damage, the great majority of the war veterans also developed post-traumatic stress disorder. Meaning that, if they are not physically disabled most probably they are mentally incapable of working or living their lives in the same way as before the war. The minimum those ex-soldiers expect is to have a compensation from the State, such as appropriate medical care and disability benefits. Unfortunately, this is not happening. Therefore, the war veterans must continue to fight, but this time they have to fight for their rights.
Time is an important issue when a person comes from the chaos of a war and needs to rebuild a life. However, the war veterans must wait a great amount of time to be listened and to have their urgent necessities fulfilled. A disability claim is judged not earlier than 279 days, on average. During those months, many of the ex-soldiers are subjected to the uncomfortable anxiety that comes from not knowing when, how, and if they going to be compensated. Another portion of the veterans just do not have ways to keep their selves and their families. Warriors become homeless and they were 12,700 in 2010. Much worse, they commit suicide, which means 120 deaths per week. It was also revealed that veterans are being tortured in order to declare that they suffer from personality disorder, which is a pre-existent circumstance and do not count as war consequence.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has a commitment with the ones that go for a war. But why is this promise not being accomplished? The Department of Veterans Affairs has around 1 million claims to review only in 2012. The reasons for the ineffectiveness are distinct: lack of personnel, excessive bureaucracy, long time to settle the appointments, mistaken medical verdict, and inefficient system. This leads not only to big delays in having decisions but also to wrong interpretations of the cases and inaccurate payments.
The medicine is constantly improving and this benefits the ones that are in the battlefields. As a result, there are more injured survivors that need medical care and funds to subsist after coming back home. Hence, the State must be prepared to deal properly in these cases. The Department of Veterans Affairs seems to be improving the system and making efforts to prevent the disastrous consequences of the lengthy and erroneous processes, such as the veteran’s homelessness. However, much more has to be done so that the veterans can have a fast and truthful conclusion about their cases, can finally stop combating, and are able to restart their lives.