During my time serving as a U.S. senator, many New Hampshire veterans contacted my office seeking help in navigating the complex and confusing process of filing a claim for disability benefits with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Years have passed since I left the Senate, but the VA has failed to fix this broken system. The claims process is still excruciatingly bureaucratic, and veterans are still waiting far too long to get their benefits or are getting less than they deserve.
Right now, the agency faces a sizable claims backlog — those waiting more than 125 days for a decision — of more than 300,000. And that backlog is expected to continue rising over the next year.
At the same time, the VA’s system is plagued with errors. According to VA data, in the last year at least 13% of initial rating determinations were found to have serious errors, representing almost 250,000 claims.