Almost exactly one year ago, I interviewed Joseph Collorafi, division chief of the New York regional office of the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs and former National Guard lieutenant colonel, as part of the background research for my master’s project:
Iraq Vets: still fighting, but now it’s with the Veterans Administration
“Budgetary constraints affect resources,” Collorafi said.
He also spoke about the VA’s lack of sufficient manpower to service the newest generation of veterans:
“We should have planned better. No one thought we’d be here [in Iraq and Afghanistan] four years plus.”
This week, Collorafi and five additional senior managers were removed from their positions at the New York regional office, which serves about 800,000 veterans.
They have been accused of shredding documents and changing the dates on veterans’ applications to make it appear that their claims were being processed more quickly.
The story was reported by Newsday:
and the Albany Times Union:
This treatment of veterans and their claims is OUTRAGEOUS!
One of the veterans I profiled waited over six months for an answer on his PTSD disability claim application. He had been diagnosed with and treated for PTSD by the VA.
His PTSD disability claim, submitted to the New York regional office, was eventually denied.
How could it be denied when the VA itself was treating him for PTSD? Makes one wonder what happened to his paperwork.
He has now filed an appeal, but the wait for appeals to be processed is even more lengthy than for original claims.