Schumer calling on agencies to work together to give Vets their - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Schumer calling on agencies to work together to give Vets their benefits

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ALBANY, N.Y. - There are currently about 15,000 Upstate New York Veterans who are waiting for their benefits or disability claims to be approved.

The cause of this huge backlog, according to Senator Charles Schumer, is because of an incompatible system between the Department of Defense and the Department of Veteran's Affairs.

Officials say during the transition from active duty to retirement, it takes the VA a lengthy time to access and analyze DoD medical records of service members. And that is one of the reasons Senator Schumer says New York vets wait about 400 days on average to start receiving veteran's benefits.

The lawmaker is calling for both agencies to create a compatible electronic health system for veterans.

"These are men and young women who didn't say wait when we said can you go and defend our freedom," said Schumer, "But the federal government is saying wait when they come back trying to get health benefits they need and deserve."

The Senator is also pushing legislation to require the VA to hire and train claims processors to eliminate the backlog.

 News10 ABC reached out to the VA's Office, but they did not get back to us for a comment as of news time on Thursday.

News10 ABC is continuing to work on this story and more updates will be on News10.com

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