The House of Representatives passed a bill Oct. 28 that's expected to reduce the Department of Veteran Affairs disability claims and appeals backlog through new initiatives, The Marine Corps Times reported. HR 2189, officially known as the Ending VA Claims Disability Backlog and Accountability Act, implements a commission to streamline the VA's processing system.
"Republicans and Democrats came together to support a range of legislation with two overarching goals: helping veterans, while improving accountability and efficiency at the Department of Veterans Affairs," House Veterans Affairs Committee chairman Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., said in a statement released on the committee's website.
According to the VA, disability claims filed with the agency are meant to have a waiting period of only 125 days. However, the VA has seen its backlog grow considerably since 2009. Currently, 67 percent of the backlog is supplemental claims filed for additional veterans benefits, while just 33 percent are first-time claims, stated a recent released Veterans Benefits Administration report.
While HR 2189 is meant to improve the processing of disability claims and appeals, many VA officials believe that the newly created commission will only delay the backlog further.