To enable veterans not the Department of Veterans Affairs to tell their disability claims stories.
Launched in 2013 by Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America with a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The Wait We Carry is an interactive tool designed to highlight the extensive backlog of disability claims at the Veterans Administration. Based on a survey of veterans and their family members, the tool visualizes details related to how long individual veterans had to wait or have been waiting to receive support in response to their claims, as well as the emotional and financial stress caused by delays in the process. Developed in partnership with Periscopic, an information visualization firm, the tool is intended to show that there's a person behind every data point and to encourage journalists and the public to learn more about the VA backlog and demand accountability from and change at the department.
Outstanding Web Features:
Visitors to the site can view bar graphs of individual veterans' wait times compared with the VA's own internal targets and the overall average wait time; narrow the sample by state, combat operation, or year the claim was filed; and/or sort the data by wait time, filing year, state, or date of data submission. Each data entry includes details such as the veteran's branch of service, rank, number of days he/she waited or has been waiting for benefits, number of days deployed, disabilities claimed, and levels of emotional and financial stress. Those who wish to contact a veteran about his/her experience can do so via a Web form, while reporters can narrow the sample to survey respondents who are available for interviews. Additional graphs highlight average wait times and most frequent injury claims filed for the specific sample selected. Veterans can add their profiles to the database through the site, while supporters can sign a petition to end the backlog or make a donation to support the tool.