US Representative Jack Kingston to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs: “When a soldier puts his life on the line for this country, he shouldn’t be left waiting a year for help when he gets home. We have invested more than $500 million in this benefit management system over the last four years and the problem has only gotten worse. If the leadership at the VA cannot reduce the backlog, they should see their pay cut.”
The Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) currently has a goal of reducing the backlog to 40%. Kingston’s amendment states that if that goal is not met by next July then the VA’s top leadership (not its caseworkers) will see pay cuts of 25%. The current backlog of cases is 66.5%.
According to Representative Kingston, more than 70% of veterans have claims pending more than 125 days. The average wait is now 292 days. The proposed budget would increase VA funding by nearly $660 million, including a $300 million increase for IT systems, to ensure the agency has the resources to meet that goal.
The Kingston amendment came out of committee by voice vote with bipartisan support.