V.A. secretary predicts end to disability claims backlog in 2015

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by 13News Now

WVEC.com

Posted on September 5, 2013 at 12:44 PM

Updated Thursday, Sep 5 at 6:21 PM

HAMPTON-Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki says the backlog of veterans' disability claims over 125 days has dropped from 611,000 in March to 460,000 today.

Speaking in Hampton Thursday, Shinseki predicted the backlog will end in 2015.

"No veteran should have to wait for the disability and services they've earned," he said.

In April, the V.A. said veterans who'd been waiting more than a year for a decision on their disability claims would be moved to the front of the line. Many veterans complained they'd been waiting more than a year for a decision.

In August, President Barack Obama said the backlog was shrinking thanks to some aggressive steps by the V.A., including requiring claims processors in its 56 regional benefits offices to work overtime and moving from a manual to a computerized system to help speed the judgment of claims, administration officials said.

Shinsecki met with health care providers and community leaders to promote cooperation and how to best address the mental health needs of veterans and their families.

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