Stalled Progress on Ending VA Backlog Calls for Renewed Focus

Stalled Progress on Ending VA Backlog Calls for Renewed Focus

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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Stalled Progress on Ending VA Backlog Calls for Renewed Focus

IAVA Members Attend Critical Senate Committee Hearing on State of the Backlog

WASHINGTON, DC (December 11, 2013) – Today, as part of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Of America’s Winter Storm, veterans will attend the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee hearing on the VA disability claims backlog.  VA Under Secretary for Benefits, Allison Hickey, will testify.  Earlier this week, VA announced that the backlog rose by 2,744, with 404,306 veterans waiting more than 125 days.  It is the second week in a row in which the backlog has increased. 

“The last few weeks of disappointing reporting have underscored just how much work still is needed to bring the backlog to zero,” said Paul Rieckhoff, founder and CEO of IAVA.  “Our current system asks more than 400,000 veterans to wait an average 5 months – that’s unacceptable. Vets deserve to know why progress has stalled and whether VA will meet its goal of backlog zero in 2015 with 2 percent error rate.  We’ve lost focus on this critical issue, and it’s essential that the backlog once again be front in center – for the Administration, for Congress, for the media, and for the concerned public.”

To see the human cost of the backlog, please visit TheWaitWeCarry.org. IAVA’s groundbreaking interactive tool features the real stories of thousands of vets and shows how the backlog is an every day hardship for veterans and their families across the country.

Follow @IAVA on Twitter for the latest, including live-tweeting of the hearing.

Veterans from IAVA are converging in Washington for the inaugural IAVA Winter Storm.  These veterans are urging Washington to renew focus on the backlog and to demand Congress stay in session until it brings up four bills that are ready for a vote.

Note to media: Please email press@iava.org if you would like to schedule an interview with an IAVA spokesperson or veteran currently stuck in the backlog.

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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