Runyan Joins Bipartisan Push to Address VA Claims Backlog

Apr 16, 2013 Issues: Veterans

Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Runyan joined 24 of his colleagues on the House Veterans Affairs Committee in sending a bipartisan letter to Department of Defense (DoD) Secretary Chuck Hagel regarding the backlog of veterans’ disability claims.  Led by Committee Chairman Jeff Miller (FL-1), the letter urges Secretary Hagel to follow through on DoD’s plan to improve disability claims processing for transitioning service members and veterans.  The plan that both the DoD and VA have agreed upon calls for DoD to immediately begin to transfer to the VA complete and certified Service Treatment Records (STRs).  It also calls for electronic transfer capabilities by December 31, 2013.

“I am pleased with Secretary Hagel’s stated interest in working with the VA to address the claims backlog,” stated Runyan.  “A true partnership between the VA and DoD is absolutely essential to reducing the amount of time our veterans have to wait before they can access the benefits they have earned.”

“This agreement has been represented by VA as a ‘game-changer’ in enabling and improving its disability benefits claims system,” wrote Committee members. “Ultimately, this will allow VA to issue compensation to disabled veterans faster. We support this joint initiative, and want to ensure that the resources required to execute it remain in place.”

The complete text of the letter sent by the Committee can be found here.