Friday, May 31, 2013

MISHAWAKA, IN – As part of a district-wide tour, Congresswoman Jackie Walorski (IN-02) met with County Veterans Service Officers (VSO) and local veterans across the Second District to listen to concerns and issues affecting the local veterans’ community.

“After our brave servicemembers return home, Congress must ensure the VA is properly utilizing their resources to reduce the backlog and resolve inefficiencies that are delaying claims,” said Walorski, a member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee. “I encourage veterans to meet with their VSO and work with the service officers to file paperwork and expedite claims. Our goal is to remain an effective sounding board for Hoosier veterans to ensure their needs are addressed at home in Indiana and in Washington.”

According to the most recent report from the VA regional office in Indianapolis, the average wait time for a Hoosier veteran is 443 days, with over 12,000 claims pending over 125 days. During the visits, Walorski spoke with service officers and veterans to learn more about local challenges, seeking more effective ways to highlight the role of the VSO and improve veterans’ resources. Indiana’s Second District is home to an estimated 53,318 veterans.

“It was a pleasure welcoming Congresswoman Walorski to Elkhart County to update her on our progress in the service office and brainstorm more ideas to help local veterans with their claims,” said Elkhart County VSO Ron Lundy. “I appreciate the Congresswoman bringing together veterans and drawing attention to the resources we have available.”

Walorski stopped in all 10 counties of Indiana’s Second District over a two day period to meet with various veterans groups and service officers, hear concerns, and share a legislative update from her committee work and sponsored legislation in Congress.

Over the past month, Walorski led a letter from members of the Indiana delegation to VA Secretary Shinseki inquiring about the impact of the new 2.3% medical device tax on the VA and prosthetics for veterans. Just last week, a separate letter was sent to the President requesting a plan to address the lack of timeliness for VA claims, particularly a decision about the electronic transfer of medical information between the Department of Defense and the VA.

For photos, click here.


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