KELSO, Wash.--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--A Kelso, Wash., veteran has been battling the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for nearly a decade to get full benefits for his post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and is calling upon the Seattle Regional Office to act on his case, according to veterans disability lawyer Eric Gang (Gang & Associates Law Firm).
“It took nearly five years and then the VA granted only partial benefits”
Bill Pritchett, 63, served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam from Nov. 1970 to Oct. 1972. One of his jobs was to help establish forward communication posts at South Vietnamese Army firebases. When he started having trouble sleeping, he began using marijuana.
After his discharge, a buddy’s death in a motorcycle accident triggered his memories of war. “He saw his friend’s body at the funeral home and said it was like being in Vietnam again. Since then his life has been a series of failed marriages and sporadic employment,” said Gang.
It wasn’t until 2002 that he could start using the VA for his healthcare. Pritchett filed a claim for benefits on Jan. 3, 2006. The VA granted him a 50 percent rating on Aug. 24, 2010. “It took nearly five years and then the VA granted only partial benefits,” said Pritchett.
“He’s been unable to work since he lost his job in 2004 at Georgia Pacific because of PTSD symptoms,” said Gang. “He has struggled to survive for the past nine years. He appealed his case in January 2011 and still has not received a decision.”
“The way the government handles these cases is a disgrace,” Pritchett said.
“The VA has had all of the evidence needed to act on the claim yet it refuses to act. To wait almost three years for a decision is patently unreasonable,” said Gang, who represents veterans nationwide from his New York-area offices.
“Mr. Pritchett’s life continues to be affected by Vietnam, now over 40 years ago,” Gang said. “We have written numerous letters to the VA without any substantive response.”
About Gang & Associates, LLC
Gang & Associates, LLC, is a New Jersey-based law firm that represents U.S. military veterans worldwide in disability cases. Visit www.ganglawfirm.com.