This afternoon, the House Committee on Veterans Affairs will listen to testimony from the VA, veterans, and veterans' advocates, as the daunting claims backlog approaches one million. Check back shortly for a multimedia link to the hearing.
Today's hearing will give an in-depth look at how the claims backlog grew to such a staggering number and steps VA and DoD hope to take to alleviate the situation. AMVETS, which provides free VA claims assistance for veterans at VA regional offices around the country, will be on hand to listen to the testimony.
Under the current system, veterans may wait up to six months or more for a claim to make its way through the VA system. While the claims backlog is visibly growing, the VA has taken steps to expedite the process in certain areas and Congress is also looking to intervene.
AMVETS has recently testified on behalf of key legislation on Capitol Hill that could help to streamline the process, such as adding a presumption of exposure for combat veterans, rather than forcing veterans to stockpile evidence of their experiences for certain claims.
AMVETS also proudly supports the Obama Administration's proposal for a unified service and health record for DoD and VA, which will once and for automatically enroll veterans in the VA system.
Since news of the backlog's unconscionable milestone broke, I have been vocal in discussing the issue. As today's hearing progresses, check back with American Veteran Online for updates.