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Sen. Durbin: Veteran Disability Claims Procedures Must Change

Dick Durbin

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (left) on Aug. 2011 at the Eastern Illinois Foodbank in Urbana. (Sean Powers/WILL)

U.S Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) says the way American veterans receive disability claims has "got to change."

His comments come as the federal Department of Veterans Affairs is working on a new digital, paper-less way of handling the claims. The V.A is working to get that done by September.

Durbin said on average, Illinois veterans wait close to a year for payments - which he says is the third-worst rate in the country.

"There is no excuse for people waiting months, sometimes over a year, to get a determination on their disability," Durbin said at a Memorial Day ceremony at the Camp Butler National Cemetery, just outside of Springfield. "We owe it to these veterans to do a much better job."

The Veterans Affairs secretary says the new system should reduce the wait for almost-all disability claims to about four months (125 days) by 2015.

Camp Butler National Cemetery is partially on land that was a military training camp during the Civil War.

Categories: Government, Health, Military