RENO, Nev. -- Congresswoman Dina Titus is asking the secretary of Veterans Affairs for a year-end performance report on the Reno Regional Office and a detailed breakdown of how service delays will be corrected.
In a letter to Secretary Eric Shinseki, Titus, D-Nev., writes that she is “extremely disappointed with the performance” of Reno VA office. She notes that Nevada veterans are having to “wait too long to receive their benefits.”
Titus, ranking member of the House Subcommittee on Disability Assistance, says the review “will provide a thorough assessment of the Reno Regional Office's performance in 2013 and pinpoint areas of improvement that must be made in order to meet the ambitious goals set for next year."
She lists six specific questions she wants answered.
Earlier this year, she joined 19 other House members in writing President Barack, complaining about the Defense Department’s delays in providing records to the VA, one reason given for the delays in Reno.
VA statistics from April showed 80 percent of Nevada’s 10,333 claimants had been waiting more than 125 days to have their claims processed, including 4,210 who have waited more than a year for an answer.
Titus and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee Chairman Jon Runyan, R-N.J., held a field hearing in Las Vegas last month.
Subcommittee members asked if the services could be accomplished more effectively if the office were moved to Southern Nevada where most of the state’s veterans reside.
Willie Clark, Western Area director for the Veterans Benefits Administration, acknowledged that the 90-member staff at the Reno office “has experienced challenges over the past few years” stemming from retirements and transfers that have affected performance.
But he added that moving the office to Las Vegas wouldn’t speed up work by claims adjusters.