VA applications backlog increases

Thousands of veterans' applications were still pending when they died

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ATLANTA, Ga. - The Veterans Administration saw a backlog of veterans' health care applications.  

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the administration created an online program in 2010 to help with applications.  It was described to be a way to apply for benefits that was quick and easy, but the backlog of applications still grew.  Applications backlogged climbed to nearly 848,700.  That was by the year 2012. 

For thousands of veterans their applications were still pending when they died.  Atlanta-based program analyst Kimberly Hughes discovered this was the case for as many as 47,786 veterans.  Applications pending include those that need proof of service and required financial information. 

According Philip Matkovsky, assistant deputy under secretary for health for administrative operations, there could be duplicate applications in the backlog.  Matkovsky says the duplicates would be from a more than a decade old information system. 

Matkovsky says workers have been asked to contact those with pending applications. 

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