The Texas Veterans Commission helps veterans file disability claims, which have stalled amid the government shutdown — adding to an already significant backlog.

“We can review them, but like I said, we review and make sure they are fully developed claims ... but when we finally turn them over to the VA, they sit there,” said Thomas P. Palladino, the commission’s executive director.

The commission is a state-run entity that supports Texas veterans. Its claims representation and counseling program employs counselors in 39 offices, helping veterans file service-connected compensation claims, pension claims and appeal claims ultimately processed at one of two Texas Veterans Affairs regional offices. Both, located in Waco and Houston, closed Monday due to the government shutdown.

After their Fort Hood office closed, counselors were relocated to the Vet Center in Harker Heights.

“Even though we may be affected by the federal government shutdown while Congress continues to negotiate a resolution, (the commission) will continue our mission to serve the veterans of Texas,” Palladino said. “We’re still operating because most of our funding comes from the state,” though some federally funded programs are stalled.

In August 2012, the governor committed $1.5 million to provide strike force teams to help alleviate the backlog of VA claims. At that time, 69,000 claims were backlogged, meaning the claims were more than 125 days old.

The teams have reviewed 25,693 cases and returned 6,296 to the VA ready to rate.

“All the hard work done with the VA ... that’s going to stop until the government resumes,” Palladino said.

Rose L. Thayer is the military editor for the Killeen Daily Herald. She joined the paper in February 2011 as a health and military reporter. View her complete profile Here. You can contact Rose L. Thayer at or (254) 501-7463. Follow her on Twitter at KDHmilitary.

Rose L. Thayer is the military editor for the Killeen Daily Herald. She joined the paper in February 2011 as a health and military reporter. View her complete profile Here.

(9) comments


They need to stop giving bonuses for not processing claims and that includes appeals. Remember when they mention claims it has nothing to do with the thousands of appeals that sit there while they collect their money and the Vets have to wait until they decided to process the appeal. In mean time if you die it's thrown out and no one gets monies that you might have been entitled too.


The monies budgeted, already long term insufficient, are mostly borrowed, that's what deficits, and under funding, cause!! Which in turn cause more costly problems!!

"The American people will not be extorted by Tea Party anarchists."
coup d'état - noun: a sudden attempt by a small group of people to take over the government usually through violence {sometimes and this isn't sudden, in this country, once U.S., shirking the peoples responsibility, knowing the military, nor the huge majority of the people, will not join and would fight any armed civilian insurrection, by collapsing the treasury to rebuild a private corporate takeover for profit}

America's Free War's and No Sacrifice, of the present generations by those served and passing costs onto the next while ignoring or giving lip service on the issues of the veterans' from, DeJa-Vu all over again!!

"If military action is worth our troops' blood, it should be worth our treasure, too" "not just in the abstract, but in the form of a specific ante by every American." -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013

Something never mentioned, in talks about government spending needs, by those that did and those that fully supported the doing and especially as to the wealthy tax cuts. The rubber stamping rapidly rising deficits started Before 9/11 and then these wars while continuing with right up to the collapsed economy and change in congress!!

RM: "We got a huge round of tax cuts in this country a few weeks before 9/11. Once 9/11 happened and we invaded Afghanistan, we kept the tax cuts anyway. How did we think we were going to pay for that war? Did we think it was free? Then, when we started a second simultaneous war in another country, we gave ourselves a second huge round of tax cuts. After that second war started. The wars, I guess, we thought would be free, don`t worry about it, civilians. Go about your business." 23 May 2013

"12 years also is a long time. We now have a lifetime responsibility to a generation of service members, veterans and their families." Dr. Jonathan Woodson 11 Sep. 2013: With 9/11 Came Lifetime Responsibility

Deficits, especially huge, means the costs of wars and long term results from are passed on to later generations, present is all borrowed, DeJa-Vu all over again!!

GlobalResearch: "US wars in Afghanistan, Iraq to cost $6 trillion"
Which gave rapid rise and far reaching spread of the al Qaeda ideology practices, not far removed from the modern day so called christian and jewish ideologies spoken and practiced!

"Why in 2009 were we still using paper?" VA Assistant Secretary Tommy Sowers "When we came in, there was no plan to change that; we've been operating on a six month wait for over a decade." 27 March 2013


ProPublica and The Seattle Times Nov. 9, 2012 - Lost to History: Missing War Records Complicate Benefit Claims by Iraq, Afghanistan Veterans
"DeLara's case is part of a much larger problem that has plagued the U.S. military since the 1990 Gulf War: a failure to create and maintain the types of field records that have documented American conflicts since the Revolutionary War."

"You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today." - Abraham Lincoln

USN All Shore '67-'71 GMG3 Vietnam In Country '70-'71

Suffering Vet
Suffering Vet

The VA cannot run out of money. Congress has funded the VA with "trillions of dollars". The VA has already received the money for 2014. The money is enough to fund every compensation claim for each and every sick, wounded and dying veteran in this country. There is enough money to provide good, sanitary, disease-free professionally staffed clinics and hospitals to care for our wounded warriors. But, wait, Shinseki, VA executives and claims processors are taking most of this huge amount of money for themselves. While our veteran soldiers BEG for help from the VA to cover their disability and medical treatments, VA officials are mocking them with the famous VA theme, "DENY, DENY, UNTIL THEY DIE!" Meanwhile, the VA officials enjoy huge paychecks and bonuses, and the best complete care benefits package available for medical, dental, vision and etc.

The President, Congressmen Senators, the VA Secretary Shineski and all the Claims Adjusters at the VA are lying! While they mock and pock fun at the suffering military veterans with their " DENY, DENY, UNTIL THEY DIE, many men and women, both young and old are suffering and dying from wounds, illnesses and injuries they received serving this nation and PROTECTING ALL of US! The next TERRORIST ATTACK on our nation, more military Soldiers, Sailors and Marines will have to put their own safety aside to save 380,000,000 Americans from harm. When it is over, and our heroes return WOUNDED or DEAD, will they and their families have to BEG the GOVERNMENT THAT THEY SERVED for HELP?

Come on, stop lying to please the media.
700,000 veterans and their families are suffering. 700,000 sick, injured and wounded American veteran soldiers are BEGGING these VA claims adjusters to give them their earned Disability Compensation, and provide decent medical care!
All the while $2,000, 000,000 is being divided up among the VA executives and other employees. All the politicians, including the Secretary of the VA, Senators, Congressmen and the President of the United States keep BRAGGING to the MEDIA how they are fixing the "BACKLOG of CLAIMS".


Mamma Griz

Thank God I can't be arrested for what I'm thinking about a certain faction of the government-- and a certain person. Bubba, don't get your panties in a wad. I am NOT replying to you-- because what I'm thinking isn't fit to print.


The Department has already informed us that they are out of contingency funds come midmonth.


Stop telling me what to do and stop using my user ID. Stop stalking me.

and perhaps you should be arrested for thinking.


and stop flinging hate speech by using homophobic speech or inferring that I am a cross-dresser.

so much for "civilized liberals".

Mamma Griz

Bubba:: You CAN'T tell me what to do!!!!! There is such a thing as FREE SPEECH! Or don't you know that!


thanks, liberal democrats, for screwing veterans through your arrogance and failing to fund the VA in the senate and WH.

That's where the blame belongs.

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