Jon Stewart On The VA’s Hand-Cranked Disability Claims File System

Bob Brewin | Nextgov | April 5, 2013

Last night, in his second “Daily Show” episode focused on the Veterans Affairs Department, comedian Jon Stewart illustrated the disability claims backlog -- which stands at 885,068 this week -- with a look at the Veterans Benefits Administration office in Winston-Salem, N.C., where mountains of paper files threaten the structural integrity of the building and the safety of employees.

As I reported last August, that office had so many backlogged claims that employees stacked 37,000 files on top of file cabinets in two-foot high mounds. Showing photos and video clips, Stewart asked, “Is that the VA, or an episode of Hoarders?”

He then zoomed in on a clip that showed an iPhone placed atop a stack of files, and asked, “Did you see how they figured out the floor was buckling? They used the iPhone level app.” Stewart pointed out that since an iPhone has 32 gigabytes of storage, the VA should not put the gadget in the file room but “put the room on the phone.”