Yakima, WASH.--Often, military men and women come back from war dealing with physical and mental illnesses, and that's when the Department Of Veterans Affairs steps in.
But unfortunately, it's not always that easy to take care of veterans disability claims.
Veterans Service Officer John Waterbrook said it can take up to 235 days or more to process a single claim.
"We are dealing with a bureaucracy with millions of claims coming in, and few claims examiners," said Waterbrook.
"I have all my records in with them right now," said Veteran Howard Hanson. "It's been two years, and I don't hear anything. It's very difficult to get results."
"After 21 years, I reopened my claim and I know based on what the service officer told me it was going to be two years or so before we hear anything," said Billy Kivett, a Vietnam Veteran.
Waterbrook said they've been inundated with claims recently and it takes time to sift through them all. If a soldier claims he broke his leg in service, then the VA has to find substantial information to prove that's exactly what happened.
"You can have a record of maybe a foot high or two feet high of info, and he has to wade through that to find out the claim is legitimate," said Waterbrook.
Veterans are encouraged to keep track of their own records in case they go missing in someone else's hands.
"Records can get lost, it's a matter of life,"said Waterbrook. "You can have a fire, you can destroy things, you can have a flood. Things can be destroyed from a flood. I wonder if there's anything that could have happened in New York recently."
Waterbrook said the county courthouse is one of the best places to keep your records. In fact, you can keep your DD-214 form there for free.