Sydney Herald: Tester calls for increased Pentagon, VA cooperation

U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., is urging U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to help the Department of Veterans Affairs reduce its growing backlog of claims for disability benefits.

Veterans receive disability compensation for injuries or illness incurred during their active military service.  As of this month, more than 600,000 claims have been pending for more than 125 days and are considered backlogged.

Tester, Montana’s only member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, told Hagel there is an “absolute need for continued collaboration, cooperation, and commitment between these two agencies.”