Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont believes he has a solution to cut down on the out-of-control VA disability claims backlog at regional offices around the country.
Senator Sanders, who also serves as chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, has introduced a bill that would create a group within VA whose mission it is to hire veterans to help decide pending claims. Senator Sanders believes that a veteran shares a unique understanding of what other veterans are going through, and because of this hiring veterans to decide claims may help to improve the quality of decisions.
VA lost six percent of its claims staff in fiscal year 2012, a time in which the infamous VA backlog continued to grow. Although many bills have been introduced to decrease the backlog, Senator Sanders’ bill is drawing extra attention because of his role within the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. As it stands, it can take three or more years to have an VA disability compensation appeal decided.