VA cites progress on benefits backlog, says it's one-sixth the size of 2013 record

NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

The Department of Veterans Affairs says it has fewer than 100,000 disability claims older than four months, a "historic milestone" that is one-sixth the size of a long-term backlog that reached a record 611,000 claims in 2013.

Allison Hickey, the VA's undersecretary for benefits, said Monday that the current backlog of 98,535 claims older than 125 days is the lowest since the agency started measuring the claims backlog in 2007.

Hickey says the decrease has not come at the expense of quality, saying that accuracy of disability decisions has improved from about 83 percent in 2011 to 91 percent today. The gains were achieved in part through use of mandatory overtime for employees in the benefits division, a practice Hickey says officials hope to stop in September.