David Jackson, USA TODAY
The Obama administration has hit a milestone of sorts: For the the first time, it ends the year with a smaller number of veterans claims than it had at the start.
The Department of Veteran Affairs says it is on track to end the claims backlog entirely "sometime in 2015," reports Stars and Stripes.
President Obama has made eliminating the VA backlog a top priority.
From Stars and Stripes:
"At the start of December, the claims backlog -- the number of cases unfinished for more than 125 days -- sat just under 393,000 cases. Critics call that an embarrassingly large number, especially considering that the White House pledged to fix the problem almost four years ago.
"But VA officials say eliminating the backlog was always expected to be a multiyear process, with the bulk of the progress coming this year. In March, the backlog total peaked at more than 608,000 cases. More than one-third of that caseload was gone by the end of the fall.
"VA Secretary Eric Shinseki has credited new computer processing systems, mandatory overtime for claims processors and new filing options for this year's decrease."