IAVA Statement on VA Overtime Mandate to Process Disability Claims

IAVA Statement on VA Overtime Mandate to Process Disability Claims

CONTACT: Carlisle Williams (212) 982-9699 or press@iava.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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IAVA Statement on VA Overtime Mandate to Process Disability Claims
Welcomes Initiative, but Continues to Call for Presidential Leadership and Comprehensive Plan

NEW YORK (May 15, 2013) – Today, the Department of Veterans Affairs announced it is mandating overtime for claims processors in its 56 regional benefits offices to help reduce the disability claims backlog. On Monday, VA reported that there are 878,246 veterans waiting on disability claims with 67.5 percent waiting longer than 125 days for a decision. Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of American (IAVA) issued the following statement in response to the announcement:

“This is good to see, and we hope it helps reduce the backlog. Yet, today’s announcement also clearly shows that there is much more the Administration can do. Bringing the backlog down to zero will not be achieved piecemeal. And unfortunately there is no sign that the Administration will bring together VA, DOD, and other agencies to develop a sustainable plan to address the structural problems that have created the backlog,” said Paul Rieckhoff, CEO and Founder of IAVA. “Instead of chipping away around the edges, veterans need a comprehensive strategy. That is why IAVA has joined more than a dozen Veterans Service Organizations and bipartisan members of Congress in calling for President Obama’s direct involvement and leadership.” 

In advance of Memorial Day, IAVA and others have called for President Obama’s direct involvement to end the backlog.  A list of those who have called on President Obama to act can be found at http://iava.org/blog/allies-have-signed-iavas-letter-president.

More background on the issue and IAVA’s leadership can be found at http://iava.org/endthevabacklog. 

 

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