For several years now, we have all heard about the backlog at the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide benefits claims to veterans. The VA determines that a claim is “backlogged” if it takes the Department more than 125 days to approve or deny. According to Stars and Stripes, the Department’s Inspector General has now reported that the Department has under counted 63,600 backlogged claims.
The Department claims that the under count is a result of “unclear parameters” regarding which claims would apply for the backlog. The IG’s report blamed the problems on “ineffective oversight and training”. Paul Lawrence, Undersecretary for Benefits at the VA has pledged to retrain employees and to clarify how claims are to be counted toward the backlog.
This ongoing problem with the Department of Veterans Affairs demonstrates the need that oversight over the Department is necessary to ensure that veterans’ claims are being processed in an efficient manner and that those benefits are getting to the veterans and their families and caregivers as expeditiously as possible.