Sen. Franken’s Staff To Be In Pine City Wednesday To Visit With Vets

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013 at 6:01 am

US Sen. Al Franken’s staff will meet with local veterans and veterans advocates in Pine City today. The goal is to get input on the expanding veterans benefits claims “backlog” that is forcing hundreds of thousands of returning veterans to put their lives on hold for many months while their claims are being processed.

Sen. Franken, who recently introduced legislation with Rep. Tim Walz to help the clear up the backlog, said the meeting is part of his office’s effort to get input from Minnesotans on the problem and on his legislation. Today, more than 600,000 veterans benefits claims are caught up in the backlog, forcing veterans to wait an average of 300 days for their claims to be processed.

Also this month, Sen. Franken plans to re-introduced legislation to increase access to health care benefits for veterans in rural areas. Often, rural veterans live many miles from the nearest Veterans Administration health facility, and Sen. Franken’s measure would help make care more accessible. He first introduced the legislation in 2012.

The meeting is one of about 20 similar events that Sen. Franken’s staff will hold across the state. It will take place at 2pm in the Conference Room at Pine Tech.

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