If you are a veteran trying to get a difficult VA claim approved, I'm afraid that I have to advise you to try it anyplace but Illinois. Recent stories in the Chicago Sun-Times by Cheryl Reed revealed that, thanks to the work of the "service center" at the Chicago VA regional office (VARO), Illinois veterans are the most dissatisfied in the nation and have one of the lowest per-capita VA disability payments. I wrote about this problem in a 2002 article in the Veteran. The unserved veterans here are the homeless—mentally ill veterans with the most severe PTSD, anger-control problems, or mood disorders—who are being abused by the system that's supposed to help them.
As a result of the initial story, the Chicago city council and Senator Obama held hearings overflowing with veterans waving sheafs of documents... Read More