Sanders Addresses VA Claims Backlog
SDVOSB News Services, Washington, DC – 2-26-2013 – Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-VT) today warned of a future crisis in the processing of VA benefits. “As we wind down our commitments overseas, the VA’s claim workload will only increase in coming years and an already overwhelmed, broken claims system is no way to welcome these heroes home.”
Addressing the American Legion at the Washington Hilton hotel, Senator Sanders emphatically stated… “I refuse to accept the status quo.”
While the Department of Veterans Affairs has processed more than 1 million claims a year for each of the past three years, the number of new claims has outpaced the department’s ability to process the paperwork.
Sanders also addressed his stated priority as Chairman, reducing the number of suicides by veterans generally attributable to the lack of employment opportunities: “While our country continues with its economic recovery, we must ensure that veterans are not left behind. Veterans possess the skills, the discipline, and the leadership necessary to succeed in a 21st-century workforce.”
Sanders praised the growing coalition of seniors and labor organizations fighting the proposed cuts in Social Security and the benefits of disabled veterans and survivors. The so-called “Chain CPI” represents a change in calculating annual cost-of-living adjustments, and could mean a considerable reduction in VA disability benefits for veterans of all ages.
Senator Sanders was appointed Chairman of the Committee in early January.
Hardy Stone is the editor/publisher of VetLikeMe, the nation’s only publication devoted to service disabled veteran owned business.