Veterans protest unfair treatment

by Brandon Richards bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC-TV) – A group of veterans gathered in downtown Lake Charles to protest what they call unfair and unjust treatment by the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.

The Louisiana Veterans Advocacy Group of Lake Charles said the court routinely rejects the vast majority of appeals from veterans who have been denied disability benefits by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The group also said another concern they have is the amount of time it takes for veterans claims to be processed by the V.A. They also said the appeals process at the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims takes far too long as well.

"It's an uphill battle," said Paul Labbe, who heads the Lake Charles Veterans Advocacy Group. "You're dealing with general counsel that have no integrity and judges that have no morals."

The group said they have petitioned Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu to get the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee to look into how the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims operates, but they said so far they have not been successful in that effort.

"We're here to try and get people to call into Senator Landrieu to have her keep her promise to us," said Labbe.

Robert Sawicki, the press secretary for Sen. Landrieu released the following statement regarding the matter, saying, "Senator Landrieu meets with constituents all the time to hear their views and concerns and she works every day to make sure they are addressed.  She has a strong record of advocating for veterans and helping them make their case for benefits.  She continues to fight on behalf of veterans and work to improve the appeals process for those whose claims are denied."

Calls for comments to the U.S. Court of Appeals were not successful.

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