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Jim Silkenat, National President, American Bar Association

There are a lot of reasons the Department of Veterans Affairs has a huge backlog of disability claims. One is the vast number of new claims VA receives: about a million per year. A second is the sheer complexity of the process and the statutes and case law behind it. VA seems to be acknowledging the complexity of the system in a new partnership it's just formed with the American Bar Association. The new Veterans Claims Assistance Network will offer pro-bono legal services to veterans so that they can put together fully-developed claims. Jim Silkenat is the national president of the American Bar Association. He explained how the program will work on In Depth with guest host Jared Serbu.

Tags: Jim Silkenat , VA , American Bar Association

Wednesday - 07/16/2014, 05:10pm EDT
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Retirement backlog grows slightly in July

For the third month in a row, the Office of Personnel Management failed to meet its monthly goal for processing retirement claims. OPM's backlog now sits at 25,601 claims, up slightly from June. OPM blames its reduced processing power on the automatic, across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration. To comply with the budget shortfalls, OPM was forced to suspend overtime for its employees in its Retirement Services division starting April 28.

Tags: OPM , retirement , Jack Moore

Monday - 08/05/2013, 12:52pm EDT

Sequestration threatens OPM's low-tech plan to beat retirement backlog

Not that long ago, the Office of Personnel Management faced a crisis in processing retirement claims. In part two of our special report, "Retirement Conundrum," Federal News Radio examines how OPM set out to beat its backlog, and how it can stay ahead of an unexpected surge in claims amid automatic budget cuts that threaten to derail progress.

Tags: OPM , Ken Zawodny , retirement , pay and benefits , Retirement Conundrum , Dave Snell , NARFE , George Kettner , Jack Moore

Thursday - 05/30/2013, 07:40pm EDT

Retirement claims tick up, but OPM continues cutting backlog

The Office of Personnel Management received more claims than expected last month, but for the third month in a row processed more claims than it expected to. OPM has also made progress cutting the longstanding backlog of retirement claims. At 44,679 claims, there are now fewer retirement claims stuck in the backlog than there were in December 2011, when OPM began tracking them as part of a new push to eliminate the logjam.

Tags: retirement , OPM , Jack Moore , retirement backlog

Monday - 08/06/2012, 03:08pm EDT

Analysis: How changes at OPM will affect retiree claims

Federal News Radio's Mike Causey and Max Cacas explain the changes and what the announcement means for retirees who have yet to get their annuity payments. Also, OPM Director John Berry and new Associate Director Bill Zielinski explained in a press conference what retirees can do to help OPM.

Tags: Mike Causey , Max Cacas , John Berry , Bill Zielinski , OPM , retireess , pay and benefits , Dorobek Insider

Wednesday - 10/20/2010, 07:50pm EDT
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'Extreme' review process adding to FOIA backlog

A National Security Archive survey finds agencies are falling short of the Obama administration's order to improve response time for Freedom of Information Act requests.

Tags: Nate Jones , National Security Archive , FOIA , open government , transparency , In Depth ,

Thursday - 07/07/2011, 04:38pm EDT
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Thinking small: SSA finds solutions to backlog of cases

SSA Commissioner Michael Astrue has taken extra funding, both from Congress' annual appropriations and from the Recovery Act, and invested in staffing and technology to fight the case backlog, Government Executive reports.

Tags: Must Reads , Dorobek Insider , SSA , Michael Astrue , management , recession

Wednesday - 10/06/2010, 03:24pm EDT