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Congressman Brad Sherman

Representing the 30th District of CALIFORNIA

Rep. Brad Sherman’s survey finds most veterans satisfied with VA


Oct 20, 2014
In The News

Rep. Brad Sherman’s survey finds most veterans satisfied with VA
By Rick Orlov, Los Angeles Daily News

Despite problems across the county for veterans, Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Sherman Oaks, released a survey on Thursday showing that 71 percent of San Fernando Valley veterans reported receiving timely and adequate health care.

The survey also found that 64 percent were satisfied with the time it took to get disability benefits, vocational rehabilitation, education and training.

“I conducted a Valley survey because official VA records in Arizona and elsewhere had been manipulated and falsified to give the appearance of shorter wait times,” Sherman said. “Our nation’s veterans deserve the best health care available. I am working to ensure that facilities in the L.A. area are suitable to fit the needs of veterans in our area.”

Sherman said he is working to reduce wait times and the backlog at VA facilities and ensure greater transparency at the agency, and he added that he was not surprised at the level of satisfaction among veterans in the system.

“I have been working with Valley veterans for a long time and have heard them discussing the care they receive,” Sherman said. “The real problem was in Arizona where they had huge backlogs and then lied about it. It tarnished the whole system.”

Nonetheless, he said, the VA needs to improve how it processes disability claims submitted by the veterans.

The survey was conducted through the mail, an online survey and questionnaires distributed at public events, Sherman said.

Those veterans who were dissatisfied with the VA received assistance from Sherman’s staff to get the care or services they were seeking. Those who participated said they had sought treatment either at the Sepulveda Ambulatory Care Center in North Hills or the VA West Los Angeles Health Care Center.

Sherman said he conducted the survey after reports of delays of up to 24 days for new patients and as long as 42 days in some facilities.

Veterans already in the system had to wait nearly six days to see a doctor.

In Los Angeles, Sherman said veterans who had not used the VA in two years had to wait an average of 56 days for a primary care appointment and 55 days for special care. Those in the system had to wait four days to see a primary care doctor, six days for a specialist and two days for a mental health appointment.