Arlington, Va. – Dan Caldwell, Legislative and Political Director at Concerned Veterans for America, issued the following statement in response to a report released today by a bipartisan group of senators’ claiming that the Department of Veterans Affairs’ benefits backlog has been reduced since 2014:
“The supposed progress being reported by the VA on the benefits backlogs is a classic shell game. Rather than properly processing dated benefit claims, the VBA’s own numbers show it is simply throwing backlogged claims in to the appeals process to give the appearance of progress. As the backlog numbers decrease, the number of appeals being filed by veterans awaiting benefits has steadily increased to the point that they will soon double the number of claims over four months old.
“This is eerily reminiscent of how the VA ‘solved’ the wait times scandal in Phoenix last year. Through bureaucratic sleight of hand, VA employees established secret wait lists to show that patient appointments were being scheduled to meet bonus incentives and then cancelled them as dozens of veterans died awaiting actual care.
“When it comes to self-reported numbers, the VA lost the benefit of the doubt long ago and even the VA’s Office of the Inspector General agrees. Congress simply cannot trust the data the VA gives it and must independently verify everything reported to them by the department.”
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Concerned Veterans for America is a non-partisan, non-profit, 501(c)(4) organization that advocates for policies that will preserve the freedom and liberty we and our families so proudly fought and sacrificed to defend.