Aug 28, 2013 6:04 PM by Andrew Ellison - email@example.com
CORPUS CHRISTI - The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs is recommending all veterans have their medical claims professionally prepared before they're submitted to the department.
It usually takes anywhere from 18 months to two years to process a claim, and with a current backlog of claims, that can be even longer.
And if there are any mistakes on the forms, the claim can be sent back, and that adds time to the process too.
Needless to say, it's important to get it right the first time.
The V.A. says it's received more than 900,000 claims already this year, and more than 25,000 are here in South Texas.
So, at the local American Legion Post off Kostoryz, service officers are helping veterans, for free, prepare these claims.
Leo Vasquez is one of those officers, and says it's all about helping veterans make sure they're getting the care they need as soon as possible.
"We sit down. We talk to them face to face and say, okay, this is what the V.A. wants," he says.
Arthur Hart is a Vietnam War veteran who appreciates the help.
He suffers from hearing loss, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and has injured knees.
He's already had one knee replaced, and now, he's filing a claim to replace the other.
"Everything has to checked, double checked, and triple checked," he says.
He knows how tedious the process can be, and he says without Vasquez, an already painfully slow process would be even harder to take.
"For people like us, we rely on trying to get everything done as quick, as soon as possible," Hart says.
The American Legion offers these services every wednesday from noon to four.
Similar services are also available at the County Veterans Affairs Office in the Nueces County Courthouse.