Veterans Affairs Chief Says Agency Making Progress On Speeding Up Claims, Reducing Backlog

Staffwriter | The Republic | June 27, 2013

The head of the Department of Veterans Affairs said the agency is making strides in reducing the backlog and reducing the time it takes to process pension and disability claims.

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki said Wednesday an electronic filing network intended to replace the paperwork system is already showing positive results. For example, the number of files processed at 56 regional VA offices across the country increased from 80,000 in February and March to 94,000 in April and 94,000 last month, he said.

"Veterans, including veterans in Idaho, are waiting too long to get their benefits. We're working to change that," Shinseki said during a press conference at the VA's Boise regional office.

Shinseki, a retired Army four-star general who has headed the VA since 2009, has made the backlog a top priority. His 2015 timeline "is aggressive, but I think it's workable," he said in a story published Thursday by the Idaho Statesman ( ).