Claims processors with the Department of Veterans Affairs say they have strained to keep up with a flood of new cases brought on by the PACT Act and an existing quota system that pits their livelihoods against the Veterans they signed up to help as a growing number of the processors leave the job.
The PACT Act expanded benefits to millions of Veterans exposed to toxic substances when it was enacted in August of last year. But that has stressed the VA workers tasked with moving cases along amid a backlog, mandatory overtime, inadequate training and quota demands, according to two former claims processors and four current processors who spoke to NBC News on the condition of anonymity out of fear of retaliation.
The processors were struggling to manage the workload even before the PACT Act, with more than 2,000 having resigned or retired since 2020. The number of departures has grown each year, data shows.