WASHINGTON— Today, Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva responded to the Department of Veterans Affairs announcement that they will hire and train new staff to ensure veterans’ claims are adjudicated quickly and help reduce an expected increase in the backlog of claims pending more than 125 days.
“One of the most frequent issues my office handles are cases related to veteran’s claims. For too many of these urgent cases waiting months to receive a response from the Department of Veterans Affairs is simply not acceptable. Unfortunately, the pandemic further exacerbated a system that was already struggling to keep pace with demand,” said Rep. Grijalva. “I am proud that Democrats took decisive action to address veterans’ issues through passage of the American Rescue Plan which provides funds to improve veterans’ health care, and specifically to address the claims backlog. I will continue to support legislation that makes it easier for our veterans to access their earned benefits and ask that my colleagues in Congress join me in making sure these are sustainable improvements.”
The Department of Veterans Affairs is taking the following proactive steps to help in the reduction:
- Hiring and training 2,000 new employees to assist in claims processing.
- Leveraging authority to transfer CARES funding to VBA and utilizing the American Rescue Plan to fund overtime to ensure timely claims processing.
- Deploying requested Fiscal Year 2022 budget resources to support Agent Orange presumptive processing, as well as for general Compensation and Pension claims processing.