The National Archives and Records Administration reduced operations of the National Personnel Records Center to less than 10%—delaying critical veteran benefits claims during the pandemic
WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema urged the National Personnel Records Center to safely increase capacity to process veterans’ benefit claims more quickly during the coronavirus pandemic.
“My office heard from concerned Arizona veterans that the National Personnel Records Center’s service reduction has contributed to an unacceptable backlog in veterans benefits claims that grows larger every day. The Center must find safe ways to more quickly process veterans’ benefit claims as we fight the coronavirus pandemic,” said Sinema, a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
The National Personnel Records Center is responsible for responding to requests for veteran service records, many of which are paper-based. During the COVID-19, the NPRC reduced its operations to less than 10%, negatively impacting Arizona veterans. With paper personnel records inaccessible, records supporting veteran benefits claims have been slow to move forward resulting in a growing, unsustainable backlog of claims.
Sinema acknowledged the challenges posed to workforce safety during the pandemic and urged a safe operations increase to ensure Arizona veterans can receive their earned benefits during the coronavirus pandemic. The National Personnel Records Center’s inability to respond to current requests for veteran service records has resulted in a nearly 120% increase in claims and appeals waiting on federal records.
Click HERE to read Sinema’s letter.