WASHINGTON (AP) - The Veterans Affairs Department appears poised
to hit a milestone it would rather avoid. That's a backlog of 1
million claims to process.
The milestone approaches as the agency scrambles to hire and
train new claims processors, which can take two years. VA officials
are working with the Pentagon under orders from President Barack
Obama to create by 2012 a system that will allow the two agencies
to electronically exchange records. The process is now done
manually on paper.
Meanwhile, veterans continue to endure financial hardship while
their claims are processed. Some of them are severely wounded
veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The issue will be addressed Thursday at a Capitol Hill hearing.