"Be patient a little longer" is not what someone wants to hear when the individual being asked to wait is a disabled or needy veteran. The primary job of a veterans' benefits lawyer, whether in Pennsylvania or anywhere else, is to expedite and assist in veterans obtaining their benefits -- before it's too late. That is, while they're still alive or before they become homeless.
It may sound insane (and it is), but there has been a reported incident of veterans' benefits having been received after the claimant died and another in which an Iraq War vet and her child became homeless before her benefits were approved. In the first case, a pension was finally approved for a World War II veteran three months after he died. In the second case, an Iraq War Navy medic waited two years for benefits relating to her disability before they came through -- during which time she and her toddler became homeless.
Between July and Dec. 2012, the average wait time for benefits processing was more than nine months. There's much that can happen and many ways in which a situation can deteriorate during a waiting period that lasts over three-quarters of a year. In one tragic example, a Vietnam War veteran's widow saw her home go into foreclosure while she waited for the official ruling that her husband's suicide was the result of a combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder.
Waiting times for benefits approvals can vary drastically across The U.S. with some backlogged regional offices averaging processing times of more than 17 months. Many veterans in Pennsylvania and elsewhere have learned that the waiting times can be significantly reduced by teaming up with a skilled and experienced veterans' benefits lawyer who can circumvent the processing pitfalls and backlogs. Those who are familiar with the process also have the basic skill and insider's expertise that can track the progress of a claim so that it can be effectively brought to the attention of the proper parties should it become lost in the backlog.
Source: mlive.com, "Delays plague veteran benefit requests around the country," Guest Columnist, July 10, 2013