After U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) urged the President and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to reduce the wait times for veterans disability claims, the VA announced it has made some progress to address the most dated cases.
In a press release this week, the VA said, "97 percent of all claims over two years old in the inventory - have been eliminated from the backlog."
"I remain upset that many veterans had to wait two years for resolution of their disability claims," said Sen. Toomey. "Nevertheless, it is a step in the right direction that the VA says the oldest claims have been dispensed. It is truly the least that can be done. Now, I urge the VA to get the backlog of year-old cases under control. It's troubling that our veterans still are not getting the care they deserve. This backlog is out of hand despite a major funding increase for the Department of Veterans Affairs over the past few years and personnel increases. The bottom line is vets aren't getting the care they need in a timely fashion. And the backlog must surely add unneeded frustration and red tape to these heroes' lives."
Sen. Toomey asked VA Secretary Eric Shinseki for more information about how the department will reduce the backlog. And he wrote to President Obama and asked him to personally weigh in and use his bully pulpit as commander-in-chief and force, pressure, or cajole the VA to reduce the disability claims backlog.