12:30 am
Wed April 3, 2013

NC Senator Kay Hagan Pushes to Get WS VA Help

North Carolina Kay Hagan wants the Veterans Affairs office in Washington to send officials to the regional Winston-Salem location to fix the problem of unprocessed veterans claims.
Credit Hagan / Hagan

North Carolina Senator Kay Hagan wants to rally national support for the Winston-Salem Veterans Affairs office. It has a backlog of unprocessed disability claims. More than 7,000 area veterans have been waiting for more than a year for information,
and 700 plus have been waiting for more than two years. So now Senator Hagan is formally requesting the Veterans Administration fix this problem.
“I know a lot of time and money has been put into updating the computer dealing with the VA and the medical claims,” said Sen. Hagan during
a Tuesday media conference call. “But I want to know where the connect is between the 7,000 backlog of cases in Winston-Salem and the computer
operating system and how we can achieve a much quicker response time for our veterans.”

Sen. Hagan sent a letter to VA Secretary Eric Shinseki asking VA officials come to Winston-Salem and implement new procedures to reduce the backlog.  She also wants these officials to develop long- term solutions to avoid future delays. “It is my understanding that Secretary Shinseki has said by 2015 we should have a 125 day time from when someone goes to the VA and asks for their claim to be addressed,” she said. “The fact we’re seeing that claim time increase does give me concern.” Last September, the waiting time for a veteran's disability claim was 329 days.

According to Senator Hagan, it has now increased to 341 days. Sen. Hagan said she understands other VA offices nationwide are also experiencing delays. So she believes streamlined procedures will help veterans everywhere. She also told reporters Tuesday the VA has not yet responded to her letter nor committed additional resources for the Winston-Salem office.

Senator Kay Hagan is pushing to get the Winston-Salem VA help combing through thousands of veterans disability claims.