New legislation helps veterans process their claims faster

Law creates a 36 member state strike force

BAKERSFIELD - There is a new law helping to aide veterans around the state.  The legislation creates a 36-member state strike force assisting the Veterans Affairs department process claims.

On average it takes about 338-days for the V.A. to complete a claim, but now that could all change.

Many veterans across Kern County have all experienced the same wait, and have even heard the horror stories from their fellow soldiers trying to file a simple claim.

“Not only is there a long wait, but they are sent through a lot of difficulties,” said veteran, Tyrone Little John.

The state budget is allocating three million dollars to the California Department of Veterans affairs to hire new service representatives in L.A., Oakland and San Diego.

“I feel is it’s about time and the fact that the people who are requesting these claims are people who put their life on the line for all of us to be able to be free,” he said.

There is currently a huge back log.  In L.A. it takes more than 300-days to process a claim, more than 500 days in Oakland and 345 days in San Diego.   Officials hope to clean up it all by 2015.

“I was so worried that I was going to put all my claims in and I wasn’t going to get anything until two years later.  So, it’s great news to be able to hear it takes less than two years,” said veteran, Adam Martinez.

The state is posting jobs now and is looking for candidates with prior veteran’s claims experience to fill key positions.

“They’ve put their lives on the line for our country and we owe them nothing less to get them the service and the response and the benefits that they earn as a result of their honorable military service,” said Dick Taylor, Kern County Veteran’s Services Office.

This new law requires no additional action on behalf of veterans around the state.  What it will do in the process is increase the amount of man power to process claims.  

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