If we needed any further proof that veterans are not a priority at VA is the recent report from CNN that technology employees at VA are getting bonuses while thousands of Veteran’s claims remain undecided. These bonuses amount to around $24 million. The VA Inspector General studied the problem and called the situation “absurd”. The annual average award per employee was about $2,500 for both years, according to the report. About 4,700 awards and bonuses were issued in 2007, and about 5,000 in 2008. One recently retired VA staff person doled out frequent bonuses including to herself to the tune of $60,000. The backlog at VA for disability claims has risen steadily probably due to the number of foreign conflicts we have; the VA processed 60 percent more claims from 1999 to 2008 than it did a decade earlier, but the number of claims still pending jumped 65 percent. This jump in the number of claims should have been anticipated and the bonuses could have gone towards more staff to process these claims.
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