Lawmakers and veterans groups this month launched a new focus on an old problem: the veterans claims backlog – disability and compensation files pending for more than 125 days.

The numbers have grown steadily in recent months, but Department of Veterans Affairs officials insist they’re on pace to eliminate the backlog in the next two years. Critics remain skeptical, noting that the department has failed to follow through on years of promises. Each of the last six VA secretaries have made public vows to right the system, with varying degrees of success.

– Leo Shane III

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