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Jamestown event helps veterans with disability claims

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JAMESTOWN, N.C. - Sen. Kay Hagan is helping veterans who are having problems with their benefits. A claims backlog is affecting some 53,000 North Carolina veterans. Vets said they have doubts that an online system will make things any quicker.

Carol Barker is just one of the thousands of veterans waiting on a disability claim.

“For me, it's really frustrating. I got back from Afghanistan in May of last year, and you try really hard to do the processing and make it on your own, but then you realize you need to get help,” Veteran Carol Barker said.

But the backlog at the Winston-Salem processing site has some 53,000 North Carolina vets waiting to get that help.

Hagan said her office is busy trying to assist them.

“When I hear their stories and I hear what they've been through, they shouldn't have to access their U.S. Senator's office to help them,” Hagan said.

She said she hopes a new e-Benefit system will speed up the process. That's why she's gathered VA representatives to help get veterans enrolled in the online program.

“To help them get online, to help them look at their claims processing and see how it's going. And I think this is a good step to really help facilitate that process and kick it into gear,” Hagan said.

But Barker said after battling the bureaucracy for nearly a year, she's skeptical that things will get better.

“I don't have a lot of trust in the VA. I'm sorry, but I'm trying,” Barker said.

Hagan held a similar event in Jacksonville back in June where 150 veterans attended.

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