Rep. Renacci Hosting Forum to Help Veterans

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CLEVELAND– It is one of the few issues that both parties in Congress and the president agree upon: the nation needs to do a better job of getting benefits to its veterans in a timely fashion.

Before he left for vacation on Martha’s Vineyard this weekend, President Barack Obama addressed a veterans convention, promising that his administration is working to reduce the backlog of veterans waiting on their benefits.

And Representative Jim Renacci of the 16th district is working towards the same goal by hosting a veterans forum on Wednesday night that will include officials from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

“We do have a lot of good people who work in the VA,” Renacci said, adding, “and sometimes I think there’s just a lack of communication.”

Renacci said veterans’ claims in Cleveland took an average of 462 days to process and complete.

He said staffers at the VA are working mandatory overtime on the nation’s nearly 800,000 claims.

President Obama said the backlog is coming down, and Rep. Renacci said a forum where vets can ask questions of the VA may help with the over 24,000 claims that still have to be processed just in Cleveland.

“The goal is to bring veterans from all over Northeast Ohio to actually sit down and air their concerns with the VA,” he said.

Rep. Renacci’s forum is Wednesday, August 14, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Tri-C West on Pleasant Valley Road in Parma.