Thursday, June 18, 2009
The Veterans Affairs Department appears poised to hit a milestone it would rather avoid. That's a backlog of 1 million claims to process.
The milestone approaches as the agency scrambles to hire and train new claims processors, which can take two years. VA officials are working with the Pentagon under orders from President Barack Obama to create by 2012 a system that will allow the two agencies to electronically exchange records. The process is now done manually on paper.
Meanwhile, veterans continue to endure financial hardship while their claims are processed. Some of them are severely wounded veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The issue will be addressed Thursday at a Capitol Hill hearing.