Lawmakers Want Independent Look at Veterans’ Claims Processing

House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) and House Majority Whip Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) introduced H.R. 2189, legislation that would establish an independent task force or commission to analyze the Veterans Affairs Department’s disability benefits claims processing system. “We hope to establish a revised evidenced-based process that will help VA break its claims backlog once and for all in 2015, just as department leaders have promised,” said Miller in a May 23 release from the two lawmakers. The claims process, on average, takes about nine months, but some claims take years. The task force would examine the reasons for the backlog and offer solutions to end the backlog by 2015, states the release. “The entire country is counting on VA to end the backlog by 2015, and Congress is committed to holding the department accountable until they achieve that goal,” said McCarthy. “Our veterans deserve the care they earned while protecting and defending our country, and continued failure by the VA cannot and will not be tolerated,” he said.