While veterans waited longer than ever in recent years for their wartime disability compensation, the Department of Veterans Affairs gave its workers millions of dollars in bonuses for “excellent” performances that effectively encouraged them to avoid claims that needed extra work to document veterans’ injuries, a News21 investigation has found. This link takes you to the story by Mary Shinn, Daniel Moore and Steven Rich.

The Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense spent at least $1.3 billion during the last four years trying unsuccessfully to develop a single electronic health-records system between the two departments — leaving veterans’ disability claims to continue piling up in paper files across the country, a News21 investigation shows. That story by Hannah Winston is here.

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These reports are part of a project on post-9/11 veterans in America produced by the Carnegie-Knight News21 program.

For the complete project “Back Home: The Challenges Facing Post-9/11 Veterans Returning from the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,” visit http://backhome.news21.com

Other stories published at the News21 website, with interactive graphics:

  • Post-election veterans are struggling to find suitable employment despite U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation hiring fairs, federal tax credit incentives and federal prodding of state licensing boards to recognize military experience.
  • An $800 million federal loan program intended to help veterans start businesses has a default rate nearly twice that of other small business loans, according to a News21 analysis

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