Mr. O'ROURKE. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to introduce the Veterans Benefits Claims Faster Filing Act. This no-cost legislation will shorten the time that veterans must wait for their claims to be decided.
Nationally, the average wait time for a claim is nearly 300 days. In El Paso, Texas, the veterans I represent wait an average of 439 days. We must do better.
My legislation will require the VA to report and post processing times and award rates for claims filed in a variety of ways, from the fastest way, which is a fully developed claim filed online, to the slowest way, which is filing an underdeveloped claim on a non-standardized piece of paper.
Informing veterans that they will wait the least amount of time if they file fully developed claims online will create an incentive to do so. Fully developed claims are consistently turned around in 100 days or fewer. Imagine a veteran in your district saving months of waiting unnecessarily for a decision on their claim.
We owe a lot to our veterans, and we can uphold our end of the bargain to them by ensuring that they receive the benefits they have earned and depend on in a timely manner.
I urge all of my colleagues to support the Faster Filing Act.