Congressman John Boehner (R-West Chester) released a letter to Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) Eric Shinseki requesting information and calling for action on the alarmingly high backlog of compensation claims in Ohio despite the VA’s announcement of a transformation plan at the Cleveland Veterans Affairs Regional Office (VARO) in the summer of 2012.
As noted in the letter, the Cleveland (VARO), responsible for handling claims from Boehner’s Eighth Congressional District and other areas, is currently processing claims in an average of 334 days – above the national average of 272 days, and well above the VA’s own stated goal of 125 days. Since the transformation process officially began at the Cleveland VARO in July 2012, the average time to process a claim has increased by 20 percent, or about 56 days.
“I was hopeful the new system would provide a quicker and more efficient claim approval process, but unfortunately I have been disappointed and disheartened by the results,” said Congressman Boehner. “My office is currently handling nearly 100 unresolved claims cases that are awaiting answers from the Cleveland VARO. From a veteran who has already been waiting more than a year to simply add her newborn daughter as a dependent, to a veteran who submitted his claim more than two years ago and has yet to receive an answer, the examples of systematic failures being reported by my constituents in the Eighth District and across Ohio are shameful. The more than 50,000 veterans currently living in my Congressional District, and all of our nation’s veterans, deserve better, and I will continue to raise concerns until the system works the way it should.”