WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs is warning of a rapidly growing backlog for veterans who seek to appeal decisions involving disability benefits. It says it will need much more staff even as money remains in question due to a tightening Trump administration budget.
The red flag is included in a Government Accountability Office report released Thursday. The VA says the wait time of as much as five years for veterans seeking resolution of their claims would continue to grow without a "hiring surge."
The VA says without the staff, the backlog could exceed 1 million within a decade. It estimates veterans could have to wait an average of 8.5 years.
The department currently provides $63.7 billion in disability compensation payments to about 4.1 million veterans.