SHAHEEN, AYOTTE CALL ON WHITE HOUSE TO TAKE ACTION ON VETERANS DISABILITY BACKLOG ...coalition of senators in calling upon the White House to take direct and urgent action to end the current Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability claims backlog.
PoliticalNews.me - Apr 30,2013 - SHAHEEN, AYOTTE CALL ON WHITE HOUSE TO TAKE ACTION ON VETERANS DISABILITY BACKLOG
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) joined a broad, bipartisan coalition of senators in calling upon the White House to take direct and urgent action to end the current Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability claims backlog. In the letter sent this morning to President Obama, the senators pointed to the unacceptable delays veterans are facing across the country, which in some cases reach more than 1000 days.
More than 600,000 veterans are still stuck in the VA’s disability claims backlog, and the number of claims pending has grown by over 2000% over the past four years. The average wait time for first time disability claims currently stands at between 316 and 327 days.
“Our men and women in uniform have made tremendous sacrifices for our country, and they should not have to spend months fighting an unresponsive bureaucracy to receive the benefits they have earned,” said Shaheen and Ayotte. “We can and must do better, and we will aggressively push the VA to resolve the unacceptable disability claims backlog.”
Shaheen and Ayotte, both members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, have worked to advocate for veterans and make sure they receive the benefits and protections they deserve. Shaheen worked to exempt veterans’ healthcare benefits from sequester cuts and has led efforts on the VOW to Hire Heroes Act and Veterans Jobs Corps Act, two pieces of legislation designed to help veterans find good-paying jobs after they complete their service. Ayotte recently raised the backlog issue during a Senate Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee hearing with senior Pentagon officials. At a Budget Committee hearing last week, Ayotte also pressed VA Secretary Eric Shinseki and other senior VA officials to provide better health care to veterans living in New Hampshire’s North Country.