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Hagan: VA official to investigate backlog in Winston-Salem office

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Sen. Kay Hagan (WGHP File Photo)

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan said Friday that a high-level Veterans Affairs official will be coming to Winston-Salem soon to look into a backlog that has some veterans waiting more than two years for a ruling on their claims.

Speaking to reporters in a conference call, Hagan, D-N.C., said that Allison Hickey of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs would visit the VA regional office here within the next several months.

Hickey is the undersecretary for benefits at the department, a job she has held since 2011. Hagan sent a letter to the VA asking for senior officials to come to North Carolina and look into the backlog in the Winston-Salem office.

“I look forward to hearing the results of her visit and recommendations on concrete steps to relieve the backlog,” Hagan said. “I am not going to be satisfied until the VA eliminates the backlog and establishes procedures” to prevent the problem from happening again.

Hagan said that Congress has given the VA the funding for more employees the department says it needs, and that an extra 25 employees were assigned to the Winston-Salem regional office.

Read full story: The Winston-Salem Journal