Survey results obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times show that the Chicago VA's handling of veterans' disability and pension claims declined in 31 service areas from 2003 to last year. Service improved slightly in 15 areas.
The Sun-Times reports that veterans' biggest complaints are that it takes too long for the VA to decide claims and then the ruling isn't fair.
U.S. Sen. Barack Obama says that echoes complaints he's heard from Illinois veterans. And Obama says the situation is "completely unacceptable."
Bill Fillman, the VA's central area office director, says he hasn't reviewed the survey results, but he defends VA employees in Chicago as being "very hard-working and dedicated."