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NOVEMBER 10, 2013


A Veteran's Perspective of the VA
Today's guest: Jessie Olsen - U.S. Army Retired


About Jessie

Jessie Olson is a former Veterans Service Officer from Butte County. She is an accredited veterans' service officer for the American Legion, American Veterans, CA Dept of Veterans Affairs, Disabled American Veterans, Military Order of the Purple Heart, National Association of County Veterans Service officers, The Retired Enlisted Association, and the Vietnam Veterans of America. She is a 90% service connected Army veteran of the Gulf War era.

This show will go into the process our veterans follow to file with the VA for benefits, what Jessie has experienced over the years in helping them and what she has experienced with her own claim that has been pending for over 8 years.

Jessie is one of thousands of veterans whose lives are being adversely affected by the Veterans Administration. Many of you are veterans and have experienced the grueling ordeal our military men and women go through to file for the benefits they are due after serving our country. Injuries sustained while in the military are causing them to monumental stress both mental and financial. Many are unable to continue working and without their veteran's benefits they are losing their homes. Many, like Jessie, have been forced to live on the streets. THIS is NOT what Americans are hearing about the treatment of our veterans. It's time we told the truth so the public can finally demand their tax dollars be spent on the services the VA is tasked to provide!

As we prepare to celebrate and honor our veterans both living and deceased this Veterans Day we hope you will join us in what will be the beginning of breaking VA news as patriotic Americans everywhere demand better from this federal agency.

It is time to counter the ridiculous propaganda that we read and hear every day:

As disability backlog drops, Shinseki will use overtime sparingly

The Department of Veteran Affairs has eliminated more than 200,000 cases from the backlog of disability claims, a 34 percent decrease since its peak of 611,000 in March, VA Secretary Eric Shinseki told reporters Thursday. But he said the department will make sparing use of mandatory overtime next year, an initiative credited as an important part of the reduction.

Department of Veterans Affairs headquarters (Charles Dharapak/AP)
Shinseki said the department was easing back on overtime, which was begun in May, to avoid exhausting the workforce. "You can only run full throttle for so long," he told reporters during a media roundtable at VA headquarters.

Progress on the backlog slowed during the partial government shutdown, when the VA was forced to stop mandatory overtime. "We took a 17-day pause and watched a flat line," Shinseki said.

The overtime was reinstated when the shutdown ended, but only until Nov. 23, and then will be reinstated in late January.

Shinseki said the department will monitor what impact stopping the overtime again for two months has on continued progress.

He said the department would continue overtime use in 2014 "with a fine hand on the tiller. We're sensitive to the concerns of a workforce that we're already asking a lot of."
Shinseki said that since launching an initiative in April to eliminate the oldest cases, the VA has completed 93 percent of claims older than one year.
Video: To Our Veterans


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