Memorial Day
6:48 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Durbin: Veteran Disability Claims Procedures 'Got To Change'

Credit (Elena Schneider/Medill News Service)

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois says the way American veterans receive disability claims has "got to change."

His comments come as the federal Department of Veterans Affairs is working on a new digital, paper-less way of handling the claims. The V.A is working to get that done by September.

Durbin says on average, Illinois veterans wait close to a year for payments - which he says is the third-worst rate in the country.

"There is no excuse for people waiting months, sometimes over a year, to get a determination on their disability," Durbin said at a Memorial Day ceremony at the Camp Butler National Cemetery, just outside of Springfield. "We owe it to these veterans to do a much better job."

The Veterans Affairs secretary says the new system should reduce the wait for almost-all disability claims to about four months (125 days) by 2015.

Camp Butler National Cemetery is partially on land that was a military training camp during the Civil War.