Oklahoma veterans leave the battlefield to fight for disability checks

TULSA, Okla. — Quick facts:

  • Veterans in Oklahoma told FOX23 they are having trouble getting disability payments.
  • FOX23 investigated their claims.
  • The VA replied to the concerns.

Veterans who fought for our country are now fighting for disability payments.

FOX23 Investigates what takes so long and how the VA decides who gets paid and who doesn’t.

John Repp, 42, was a three-year active Marine who trained in the Desert Storm era.

He now has a long list of medical problems, including back pain, herniated discs and tinnitus. He uses a walker to get around.

Repp said he started filing a claim with the VA in 2002, after he got out of the military.

He said they denied his claim and one point even lost his paperwork, only to find it when Repp threatened them with a lawyer.

Now, 13 years later, a document shows the VA gave Repp 10 percent disability, then upped it to 20 percent disability, only upping it to 70 percent last spring, adding up to $1,400 each month for Repp’s family.

He says he should be 100 percent disabled.

Repp says he was supposed to get an answer about an appeal by the end of January, but the paperwork shows the VA postponed their decision again until late June.

FOX23 talked to other veterans with similar complaints, and took those straight to the VA.

They replied, saying the VA makes a determination about the severity of a veteran’s disability based on medical evidence. They said it takes an average of 96 days to complete a disability claim in Oklahoma, and that the VA “works diligently to ensure fair and accurate decisions are made.”

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