Elmira/Corning Regional Airport

VA Benefits Backlogged Over A Year

VA Benefits Delays

      BATH---(WENY) Today is veteran's day, the day we celebrate our heroes that keep us safe here at home. And it's one of many reasons our vets deserve the very best when they return home, but often times they don't get the benefits they need on time. Right now, the backlog on VA Benefits claims has some vets waiting over a year to get what they need.
     There are several factors contributing to the delays, including improper training of benefits personnel, incorrectly rated benefits claims, and most recently noted, incompatibilities between the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs' database of veteran health records. Service Officer, Denis Oliver says, "What happens is VA will request records from DoD, medical records on newly discharged vets, and often they have to translate those because they're not compatible with the VA system."
     It's an issue that has had some vets waiting up to 400 days for their benefits. To help get things moving and alleviate some of the backlog, Senator Chuck Schumer is proposing two new bills. One of them would require DoD and VA to use the same software to access veterans' health records, the other would hire more claims processors.
     Oliver says, "That will actually speed up claims because instead of having to collect those records, they can actually just access them. That could cut months off the waiting period in the long run."
     Senator Schumer will include the proposals in the National Defense Authorization Act, set to reach the Senate Floor Next Month.