VA backlog grew despite online application program

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

ATLANTA (AP) -- The number of backlogged veterans' health care applications grew despite the Veterans Administration in 2010 introducing an online program touted as a quick, easy way to apply for benefits.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the number of backlogged applications had grown to nearly 848,700 by 2012 and Atlanta-based program analyst Kimberly Hughes discovered that as many as 47,786 veterans died while their applications were pending.

Assistant deputy under secretary for health for administrative operations Philip Matkovsky says some backlogged applications may be duplicates from a previous information system and may be more than a decade old. He says Atlanta workers have been asked to contact all veterans with pending applications.

Hughes, who oversaw the Health Eligibility Center's informatics division, says she made the same suggestion more than two years ago.


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