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Public Statements

Hartzler Working to Clear Backlog of Veteran Benefit Claims

Statement

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Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-4) continues to seek solutions for veterans facing lengthy wait times for their benefit claims to be processed. Hartzler expressed concern with the backlog as she met with Retired Brigadier General Allison Hickey, Under Secretary for Benefits at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

"Veterans who have served this country were promised certain benefits," said Hartzler. "It is disheartening to see so many of our military heroes having to put up with delays and red tape as they wait for these benefit claims to be processed."

"My conversation with General Hickey was constructive," continued Hartzler. "I thanked her for the tireless work she is doing to help ease the backlog and to solve the problem. But I stressed action must be taken to address the fact that 12 percent to 30 percent of claims need to be re-adjudicated due to errors by the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) and that 65 percent of new claims take more than 125 days to process. This is unacceptable."

"I discussed a number of possible solutions with General Hickey, including their transformation plan centering on the Veterans Benefits Management System (VBMS), a program that is supposed to digitize disability claims and make the process more timely and accurate," added Hartzler. "America's bravest veterans should not have to endure long waits for the benefits they have earned. They deserve much better."

Congresswoman Hartzler represents Missouri's Fourth District, home of Fort Leonard Wood and Whiteman Air Force Base -- home of the B-2. She serves proudly on the House Armed Services Committee.


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