March 7, 2013


SAN MATEO, CA - With the Oakland VA continuing to struggle with a massive backlog of 25,735 claims, Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) today announced that she will co-sponsor the 2nd Annual Veteran’s Fix-It Event set for Friday, April 19, 2013, 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. at the War Memorial Veterans Building, 401 Van Ness Avenue, Room 207, in San Francisco.

Speier stated, “Last year’s first Fix-It Event was jammed to capacity with hundreds of veterans justifiably upset with how long the VA was taking to adjudicate their disability claims. Since that event, my office has helped veterans receive over $3 million in benefits. Yet, the waiting time at Oakland remains high—448 days on average for a claim to be adjudicated vs. the national average of 279 days. It is well past time for another Fix-It.”

The Fix-It, co-sponsored by Congresswoman Barbara Lee, will feature the six Oakland VA claims representatives who will meet with veterans attending the event. Priority will be given to veterans who pre-register in advance of the event since the VA estimates it can interview 70 veterans during the time allotted. Veterans can register by emailing Richard.Steffen@mail.house.gov or calling 650-342-0300. Last year the VA met individually with 108 veterans, but over 150 veterans were unable to see a representative that day.

Also, Congresswomen Speier and Lee will hold a town hall at the event, starting at 10 a.m. They will take questions from veterans. Also speaking will be Douglas Bragg, director of the Oakland VA and a contingent of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans is expected to discuss employment issues in the Bay Area.

The event will also feature presentations by area employers along with a display of artwork by combat veterans.

Speier added, “We want veterans with and without claims issues to participate. We need to tap into the power of veterans helping veterans. Veterans high up in the corporate world have the opportunity to help younger veterans enter the business world—all that is required is a connection and hopefully this event will spark dialogue among veterans who believe in a ‘hand-up, not a hand-out.’”

Who:       
Congresswoman Jackie Speier
Congresswoman Barbara Lee
Douglas Bragg, Oakland VA Director

What:        
2nd Annual VA Fix-It Event
   
Where:       
War Memorial Veterans Building
401 Van Ness Avenue, Room 207
San Francisco

When:        
Friday, April 19, 2013
9:00 am – 2:00 pm

###