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How bad is the VA backlog?

Veterans Affairs Backlog Files Stacked So High, They Posed Safety Risk to Staff

By: P.J. Tobia Excerpt from PBS Newshour- The Rundown
 

“While researching our story on the Veterans Affairs benefits backlog, we saw this Veterans Affairs Administration Inspector General’s report that points out that at one VA center, a regional office in Winston-Salem, N.C., had so much paper that it “created an unsafe workspace for (VA) employees and appeared to have the potential to compromise the integrity of the building.” The IG report, from August, 2012, found that at this one office alone, “37,000 claims folders were stored on top of file cabinets.” The report says that this “creates an unsafe environment for the employees, overexposes many claims folders to risk of fire/water damage, inadvertent loss and possible misplacement, as well as impedes (Veterans Affairs Regional Office) productivity by reducing access to many folders in a timely manner.” According to the report, the sheer weight of the combined folders actually exceeded the load-bearing capacity of the building itself. As claims continue to pour in, almost one million veterans are currently waiting for their benefit claims to be processed, according to an investigation conducted by the Center for Investigative Reporting. The CIR’s report also showed that the average wait time for a disability claim to be resolved is 279 days. First time claims take longer, averaging 318 days, and the wait time has grown 2,000 percent in the past four years.”  Full Story