VA Claims Backlog Saddles Disabled Veterans

Mitch Shaw | Standard-Examiner | February 5, 2014

Department of Veterans Affairs officials say they want to end their massive benefits backlog for disabled veterans by next year, but a new study says progress on the initiative has stalled.

Between March and November of 2013, the VA made significant progress in reducing the backlog of disability compensation claims, going from 611,000 to 400,835 in that time period -- a reduction of 34 percent.

But since then, the VA has been unable to reduce the backlog below the 400,000 threshold, according to "The Red Tape Report," authored by the group Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.

As a result, the report says, hundreds of thousands of veterans who were permanently disabled or became sick after their military service are waiting months for compensation checks to arrive to help pay the bills.