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Veteran Benefit Backlog Finally Receives Attention

June 19th, 2013 by WCBC Radio

After years of quiet stagnation, the veterans benefits claim backlog has finally caught Congress’ attention. Late last month,  leaders from the Senate Appropriations committee vowed close oversight of the backlog problem in coming months after a summit earlier in the day that summoned the secretaries of defense and veterans affairs to Capitol Hill. The claims backlog has been on a steady trend downward since March, when the number of cases pending for more than four months peaked above 600,000. In May, department officials said the number of backlogged cases had dropped to below 560,000, an eight-month low. Still, benefits workers take almost nine months on average to complete a claim, well above the four-month promise outlined by department leaders. Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., told reporters that both agencies have been given funding and time to tackle the problem.

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