A year-and-a-half after news of the VA waitlist scandal broke headlines, veterans in need of mental health care services are still struggling to see a doctor. Some veterans have been forced to wait as long as nine months to receive an evaluation!
In a recent review of 100 VA cases, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found the following:
- 86% of patients waited up to 26 days to receive an appointment, even though the VA reported their average wait time at only four days.
- Some of these patients were found to have waited as long as 279 days for an appointment.
- Even after the initial appointment, some patients have had to wait up to two months to begin treatment.
What is the source of these discrepancies? The VA has been manually managing their appointment schedule, allowing them to sidestep oversight. While they claim that patients on average are able to see a doctor within days of making their appointment, they are failing to report how long veterans are having to wait to even make that appointment in the first place. According to the GAO, there is a huge discrepancy between the way the VA calculates wait times and the actual amount of time people are being forced to wait for care.
For people in desperate need of mental health evaluations and treatments, these wait times are unacceptable and are costing people’s lives. Veterans deserve to obtain their needed disability benefits in a timely fashion!
In an effort to address this pressing issue, Congress passed a $15 billion bill allowing veterans the option to seek care in the private sector. The bill also allowed the VA to hire more doctors. It has, but so far the problem has yet to be resolved.
National Veterans’ Disability Lawyers
If you are a veteran who is struggling with the veterans disability claim process, we encourage you to call George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers and speak with our attorneys today. We believe that as a veteran, you deserve access to health care in a timely manner and should not have to jump through hoops to get your claim approved. We provide FREE case reviews and represent veterans throughout the state.
Whatever VA issue you are facing, please call us today to see how we can help: (888) 612-7001.