VA blaming claims backlog uptick on shutdown

By Leo Shane III Stars and Stripes Published: October 7, 2013 WASHINGTON — Department of Veterans Affairs officials are blaming the partial government shutdown for the slight increase in the veterans claims backlog this week, but critics question whether VA leaders are using the political crisis as an excuse. The number of veterans claims pending for more than 125 days rose by 239 in the first few days of the government shutdown, which began Oct.1. In the previous 10 days, the backlog had dropped by more than 16,000 cases. The backlog peaked in March at more than 608,000 overdue claims, and now sits just under 419,000. Read Full Article Here