I've asked Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki how the department plans to address its disability claims backlog.
I am deeply concerned about the backlog of veterans' disabilities claims. The department's annual claims are expected to reach 1,250,000 in 2013, an increase of almost 60 percent since 2005.
Claims are also becoming more complex, with a higher number of disabling conditions claimed. I am informed that to address the mounting workload, the department has set as a strategic goal that no claim will be more than 125 days old in 2015.
In a letter, I asked Secretary Shinseki for more information about how the department will reduce the backlog and meet its strategic goal.