WASHINGTON >> VA Secretary Eric Shinseki is standing by his commitment to end the disability claims backlog by 2015.
Veterans receive disability compensation for injuries or illness incurred during their active military service. About 600,000 claims, or 70 percent of all claims, are considered to be in backlog. The number of claims pending for more than 125 days has nearly quadrupled under his watch.
Shinseki told CNN’s “State of the Union” that 10 years of war and efforts to make it easier for veterans to collect compensation for certain illnesses such as post-traumatic stress disorder have driven the backlog higher during his tenure. He said that doing away with paper records will be the key to a turnaround.