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Feds flooded with new vet disability claims

The cost of veterans’ disability compensation has risen 147 percent since 2000. The trend is likely to continue as more vets return home. Want to know the costs?

As a nation, we owe our disabled veterans more than our gratitude. By law, the government owes them compensation if disabled. Since 9/11, disability compensation costs for vets increased by 147 percent. In 2000, the U.S. paid $14.77 billion in disability claims. In 2010, that amount was $36.48 billion – averaging $11,365 per disabled vet.

As more veterans return from Iraq and Afghanistan, and veterans from previous wars grow older, this trend shows no sign of slowing. Claims processing is already backlogged.

Today’s photo gallery has more details, including the types of disabilities our veterans suffer. “What Do Others Say?” further explores this explosion in claims. Tell us what you think in the discussion thread below. What do we owe men and women in uniform?

What do others say?

  • : U.S. Census infographic: “A snapshot of our nation’s veterans” More

  • : Huffington Post: “Beyond the battlefield” More

  • : Associated Press: “US vets’ disability filings reach historic rate” More

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