The long wait for VA compensation

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After dedicating their lives serving their country in the military, many veterans assume their country will then jump at the chance to help them out in their own time of need. But many veterans who suffer from disabilities after serving in the military are finding that they must wait years to receive compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Mike Mewkalo, 86, of Millbrae, served 23 and a half years in the U.S. military.
When he submitted a claim for his heart disease with the VA Regional Office in Oakland in October 2010, he figured he would receive a decision, or a “rating,” on his disability within a few months.

“I thought maybe in two months they would have this all straightened out,” said Mewkalo of the VA.
He has suffered three heart attacks and had two open-heart surgeries. His heart condition was the result of decades of strenuous, dirty work in the Army and Air Force, he said.

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