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VA backlog growing larger

Although there has been progress reported in slimming down the backlog for veterans benefits at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Military Times is reporting that the issue is not going the way VA officials would like currently. The backlog of cases pending for four or more months has risen by approximately 1,000 cases, nearly reaching 400,000, according to VA officials.

While the backlog of cases fell by about 200,000 over the course of 2013, it has held steady at nearly 400,000 since November 2013. VA said in a statement that they are confident that their plan will eliminate backlog by 2015 as they had planned, but researchers from Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America said these backlog numbers show VA officials have not put the pieces in place to address the issue in the long term.

American Forces Press Service reported that a new technology to help expedite veterans benefits claims has been created by the U.S. Departments of Defense and VA. The Health Artifact and Image Management Solution will try to ensure military service records are immediately available to VA.

“We recognized DoD needed to assist the VA by providing additional data on the benefits side, so we put teams together and they came up with the solution [to] generate an electronic service treatment record document,” David M. Bowen, director of health information technology at the Defense Health Agency, told the new source.

VA officials are very good at paying lip service to their progress in reducing the backlog, but the reality is the needle has not moved much in the direction of real improvement for VA cases. Clearly, veterans have to possess patience and be confident in the merits of their claim to prevail.

Routinely following up with VA concerning the status of a claim can help. The Law Offices of Harold W. Conick and Associates always stands ready to assist the veteran in pursuing their VA benefits.