VA, Making Dent in Claims Backlog, to Temporarily Suspend Mandatory Overtime Program

Last week the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced the backlog of disability compensation claims had dropped 34 percent, from 611,000 to 400,835. 

VA Secretary Eric Shinseki said that while “the trend is in the right direction,” the VA still has work to do; the secretary does not want to burn out staff at the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), where claims processors have been working at least twenty hours of overtime each month since the spring. 

"I've got to be careful here. I learned a long time ago you can ask even the best units to go full-throttle only for so long," Shinseki said in an interview with the Associated Press. "You just can't keep that running forever." 

Mandatory overtime at VBA will continue until November 23, and will restart on January 23, 2014.  

“I am grateful to our employees, many who have been working long periods of overtime since May, for their great dedication in helping our Veterans get the benefits they’ve earned,” said Under Secretary for Benefits Allison A. Hickey. “I talk to them every day and they are committed to building on their record-breaking progress, helping transform the VA into a paperless system, and ending the backlog for good.”

Posted in General News

Tags: VBA, Veterans Benefits Administration, Eric Shinseki, Department of Veterans Affairs

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