Today, Congressman Jerry McNerney (CA-11) led a letter to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) calling on Sec. Shinseki to address the backlog of veterans' benefits claims at the Oakland regional office in light of last week's report from the VA's Office of the Inspector General (OIG). Congressman McNerney previously called on the VA to address the severe backlog of veterans' benefits claims at the Oakland regional office and to address the number of inaccuracies in claims processing at the office.
"The IG's report shows us concretely what we already knew: the backlog of claims at the Oakland regional office is unacceptable. I will continue to hold the VA accountable until we see concrete improvements made as a result of its plan. The number of delayed claims simply must be reduced. The veterans who have served our country deserve to have their claims processed accurately and quickly," said Rep. McNerney.
"I've heard time and again from veterans in California about the troubling delays they experienced while having their claims processed. These are truly heartbreaking stories, and this is not the way their service and sacrifice should be honored. I will not accept anything other than seeing the backlog of claims reduced and fewer mistakes made," said Rep. McNerney.
Late last month, Rep. McNerney spoke on the House floor and questioned a representative from the VA in a hearing in the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs. He also sent a letter to the VA demanding that Secretary Shinseki reverse his decision to not include Oakland among a group of 12 regional offices to receive updated technology. The Oakland regional office services veterans from Bakersfield all the way to the Oregon border.
"For the tens of thousands of veterans currently waiting to receive their benefits, any extended delay is inexcusable. I welcome other Members of Congress in joining me in calling on the VA to process the claims currently languishing at the Oakland regional office," said Rep. McNerney.