President Obama Addresses VA Backlog

President Obama Addresses VA Backlog

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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CONTACT: Carlisle Williams, 212-982-9699, press@iava.org

President Obama Addresses VA Backlog 

Remarks at Disabled American Veterans Convention Are President’s First Extensive Remarks on the Backlog in 2013

NEW YORK, NY – (August 10, 2013) – Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) today credited President Obama for addressing the Department of Veterans Affairs disability claims backlog at the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) National Convention. The President called long waits for benefits “unacceptable” and said his Administration was determined to end the backlog entirely. IAVA thanked DAV for providing a platform for the President to discuss the backlog with veterans.

In response to public pressure from the veterans community, including Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, the Department of Veterans Affairs has reduced the backlog from a high point of more than 630,000 in the spring to about 520,000 today.

“The backlog affects veterans of all eras and poses a financial and emotional roadblock to transitioning from military to civilian life.  Veterans appreciate hearing from their Commander-in-Chief today about this critical issue. The President’s remarks underscore the need for a sustained commitment on the part of the Administration, working with the veterans community, to end the backlog.  IAVA remains committed to working with the Administration and Veterans Service Organizations to advance sustainable solutions that will ensure our veterans no longer have to wait for the benefits they have earned,” said Derek Bennett, Chief of Staff of IAVA.

Since March, IAVA has fought to keep the backlog in the national spotlight to ensure that leading officials take the necessary steps to bring the backlog to an end and to support veterans stuck in the system. IAVA recently launched The Wait We Carry, an interactive online tool that shines a spotlight on the struggles of veterans and their families. Created with support from the Knight Foundation, thewaitwecarry.org features veterans in the backlog and their wait times.  Additionally, IAVA has also put forth solutions for ending the backlog: http://iava.org/blog/solutions-end-va-disability-claims-backlog.

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

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (www.IAVA.org) is the nation’s first and largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization representing veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan and has more than 270,000 Member Veterans and civilian supporters nationwide. IAVA recently received the highest rating – four-stars – from Charity Navigator, America’s largest charity evaluator. 

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