Problems with the VA? Join the club:
Nine months after President Obama authorized a broad expansion of benefits for those caring for service members severely wounded in the nation’s two current wars, none of the assistance has materialized and it is caught up in a bureaucratic tangle that could shrink the number of families eligible for the help.
Obama made care for military veterans and their families a priority in his role as commander in chief, and in May he signed into law a measure that for the first time would give cash assistance, counseling and fill-in help known as “respite care” to people overseeing the convalescence of wounded troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.
What could be the holdup? Lack of funds? Lack of participation? Nope, just the usual.
But the Department of Veterans Affairs has since missed the Jan. 31 deadline for fully implementing the program, leaving the families of wounded troops to wonder when the promised help will arrive.
Veterans Affairs officials say designing the law has involved months of consulting with veterans groups, congressional leaders, families and others, and that some progress has been made. But determining who qualifies for the new benefits – including whether veterans of pre-Sept. 11, 2001, wars should be eligible for all of them – has been a complicated, politically fraught process.
The VA continually proves itself incapable of properly caring for our nation’s Veterans. Why would it prove different with Veteran’s families?