Tue July 16, 2013
Congress and VA Work to Process Backlog on Disability Claims
Members of Congress from Ohio are pushing for action to help veterans with disabilities. They have joined with other Republicans to ask the Department of Veteran's Affairs to address long waits for disability claims, and for accountability.
House Republicans have sent two letters to date. The first, back in January, demanding that something be done about the processing time for disability claims. Mike Turner of Ohio's 10th district says the average time is over a year-400 days-to file claims.
“I just recently got an email July 7th from a constituent, who reported to us that, although our office has been helping him, he’s currently on 294 days. I’ve seen no action on his request. This is clearly unacceptable and not the way we should treat our heros.”
Turner, along with Republican Ohio Senator Rob Portman and Speaker of the House John Boehner, have also joined other members of the house to draft a second letter, asking for the VA to issue monthly reports to hold the agency accountable. They have requested the first updates from the VA by August 1st.
In May, the VA says it initiated mandatory overtime for claims processors in its 56 regional benefits offices to speedup claims processing and that by the end of June, 95% of all claims two years and older had been cleared. They are now working on the backlog of claims that are still more than a year old.