Today, Representatives Tim Walz of Minnesota, Peter King of New York, and Martin Heinrich of New Mexico urged the leadership of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee to streamline the disability claims process for veterans so they can apply for benefits through a simple, uniform, and modern IT-based system. The three lawmakers offered their support and assistance as the committee takes on this much needed reform.
"The brave men and women who put their lives on the line to defend us should not have to fight a second battle to get the benefits they have earned when they return home," said Walz. "I believe we can do better when it comes to processing these claims. Our veterans deserve nothing less. I want the Committee to know that when it comes to this issue, they will find willing partners in the three of us and our colleagues who have joined in signing the letter."
"Our brave servicemen and women put their lives on the line for our freedom, and should not have to wait to receive the benefits they deserve for their sacrifices made in combat," said King. "The backlog and wait times in the claims process have reached an unacceptable level, which is why I have proudly joined my colleagues in calling for a solution that will modernize and expedite the system."
"As more and more veterans return from overseas, we must modernize our disability claims system to ensure our brave men and women receive the benefits they have earned-- both promptly and accurately," said Heinrich. "I look forward to working with my colleagues to address the backlog of claims as this is a critical part of fulfilling our nation's promise to our veterans."
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) endorsed the letter.
Seventy House Members joined the three lawmakers in sending this request to the Committee.