Jun 03 2020
WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) pressed Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) leaders on the plan to reduce the backlog of veterans waiting to undergo medical exams in order to qualify for disability compensation.
According to Dr. Paul Lawrence, VA’s Undersecretary for Benefits, 119,000 veterans are awaiting a compensation and pension (C&P) exam, up from 64,000 in November 2019. These medical exams were put on hold as the VA paused in-person appointments because of the coronavirus.
In a Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing, Boozman pressed the VA on its plan to reduce the backlog.
“We’ve worked so hard to get that backlog down,” Boozman said. “What can we do to get that back under control?”
VA officials say C&P exams will resume on June 8 in certain areas of the country. The VA is also requesting additional flexibility to allow nurse practitioners to conduct exams which would expand its capacity and help decrease the backlog.