The Paperwork Mountain at Veterans Affairs

(via the New York Times)

“No veteran should have to wait months or years for the benefits that you’ve earned,” President Obama said in a Veterans Day speech, “so we will continue to attack the claims backlog. We won’t let up. We will not let up.”

He had better not let up, given that the Department of Veterans Affairs, in the long slog through its own paperwork, is in some ways marching backward. Through July of this year, 66 percent of claims for disability compensation and pensions were still pending more than 125 days after being filed, missing the department’s own timeliness goals. That is up from 60 percent in 2011.

There is a separate quagmire for veterans who appeal a rejected claim — the average time between the filing of an appeal and its resolution is nearly two and a half years…

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