May 6, 2013
With hundreds of thousands of Veterans returning from duty overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan in need of Veterans’ Disability Benefits, the number of backlogged claims awaiting a decision has grown. Records show that the number of pending claims skyrocketed in 2011 from 200,000 to 500,000.
As a result, an article from NOCO 5 News stated that the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) announced it will not be awarding performance bonuses to its top executives this year. The last time bonuses were given to top VA employees in 2011, they received more than $2.8 million in extra pay.
Officials stated the move was being made because it wasn’t fair to reward employees who were not performing as expected. A spokesperson for the VA, Josh Taylor, explained that the money saved by not awarding bonuses this year would be used to help reduce the number of backlogged claims. However, no specifics were given on how the money would be used to achieve this goal.
The announcement comes on the heels of new regulations being put into place on how bonuses are issued to VA executives. The new rules also reduced the amount of money the VA’s highest-ranking employees would receive through bonus programs.