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Sen. Casey Urges Feds to Speed Up Efforts to Fix VA Backlog

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey is calling on the federal government to get regional offices that assist military veterans into shape.

The Democrat says the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs have been too slow in responding to the concerns of the VA’s own inspector general, as well as veterans who have had to wait for months to receive disability benefits.  

"They shouldn’t have to wait hundreds and hundreds of days to get answers, to get determinations made, to get some certainty about the kind of services they should be providing," he said. "It’s real simple – they need to fix this problem and do it quickly."

An internal report by the VA released earlier this year found the agency’s system of digitizing hard copies of disability claims was lagging and predicted challenges ahead if it wanted to eliminate the backlog by 2015.

An investigation done last year on Pittsburgh’s VA office discovered other problems, namely inaccurately processed disability claims.

This week, the agency released a report on its Philadelphia office finding inaccurate processing is putting the agency at risk of overpaying veterans’ financial benefits.

Casey says members of Congress shouldn’t have to rattle the VA’s cage to get results.

"They need to get to work," he said. "No one knows more about these systems than they do. No one knows more about how to fix it. No one knows more about how to rectify what is an ongoing wrong for not just months, but years."