Bill requiring VA to answer all crisis calls moves to Senate

Veteran suicide hotline concerns

The Department of Veterans Affairs' crisis hotline is under fire after its former director Greg Hughes revealed on average 30-40 percent of crisis calls received in May rolled over to backup centers.

One third of calls are not being answered by front line staffers because of poor work habits and other problems at the VA.

Hughes said some of the workers were answering fewer than five calls per day, many leaving work early.

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According to the government accountability office report, they found the VA did not meet call response times, and some text messages went unanswered.

Local veterans and their spouses like Lisa Miller said what’s happening is unacceptable.

“You’re calling in because you’re in a crisis," Miller said. "A lot of people don’t understand what our veterans go through or our active duty.”

On Monday, a bill was approved requiring the VA to make sure all calls put into their crisis line be answered in a timely manner by someone who is qualified.

That bill will now go to the Senate.

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