Rep. Tom Reed: End VA Claims Backlog
Rep. Tom Reed today addressed the severe claims backlog at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and steps the House is taking to remedy the backlog. The number of disability claims left outstanding for more than a year has grown by 2,000 percent in the past four years, with some pending for more than 1,000 days. Reed called the massive backlog unacceptable, saying it is time to stand up for those who stood so courageously for us.
“I am pleased to have worked with the Appropriations Committee to take steps to end the VA backlog and prove to our veterans we are going to do whatever we can to better serve them,” Reed said. “It’s incredibly frustrating that our veterans and their families have to jump through countless hoops to get what they are rightly owed,” Reed said. “That is why I am pleased the Appropriations Committee has also recognized the severity of the problem and is devoting adequate funds to resolve the backlog issue.”
Reed recently met with his Veterans Advisory Board at the Bath American Legion where veterans stressed to Reed the need to hold the VA’s feet to the fire to get veterans their benefits in a timely manner.
“Each and every one of our veterans stood up and put our lives before their own,” Reed continued. “There should be no reason why we are not able to provide the best care for them. Months and years of waiting for a response is an unacceptable way to treat our veterans – today’s commitment is a step in the right direction.”
Funds included in the Appropriations bill would go toward the digital scanning of records, paperless claims processing, and coordinating VA and Department of Defense electronic health records – all of which will improve speed and efficiency of claims processing.
Navigating the Veterans Administration’s benefits system has been a complicated, frustrating process for Reed’s constituents and many have contacted Reed’s Corning office to help them navigate the system: “I encourage veterans to contact my office if they are in need of assistance with backlog claims. Together, with this bill, we can end the VA’s claims backlog. It’s our turn to stand up for veterans.”