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13,000 disability claims discovered in a closet

Military vets and many others are searching for answers after it came to light that around 13,000 disability claims had been put into a closet in California, where they were ignored and forgotten about entirely for years. A woman found them there and broke the news, becoming a whistleblower, and she has now gotten a simple tattoo memorializing the 13,184 claims, displaying the number for all to see.

These were not just recent claims, but some that had been sent in all the way back in the 1990s. Not only did those vets never even have their cases considered, much less get the money that they may have deserved, but it appears not a second thought was given to starting the approval process.

Likely, many of the vets simply gave up when they did not hear back from the government about the applications they submitted. The woman did not find the claims until 2012.

Now, a congressional hearing has been set up to investigate the case, and many questions abound. How did all of the claims find their way into the filing cabinet and into the closet? Who knew that they were there? Were they put there on purpose so that they would not be considered, or was this a simple miscommunication and oversight? All of these and more will be asked and hopefully answered in the months to come, though it could take a long time to get to the bottom of the whole thing.

If you’ve tried to get disability payments and not heard anything back, make sure you look into your legal options; never giving up until you have your answers.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle, “Answers demanded after vets’ disability claims found in cabinet,” Vivian Ho, April. 21, 2015

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