Rep. Steve Israel proposes new bill for veterans benefits

The proposed bill aims to cut down on the backlog of VA claims. (5/23/14)

NORTHPORT - A Long Island congressman is proposing a new bill that aims to cut down on the backlog of VA claims as the scandal widens nationwide.

As News 12 Long Island reported, 26 VA hospitals are being investigated for allegations of delayed treatments and related deaths. On Long Island, Vietnam veteran James Zaffiro says the Northport VA failed to get him the treatment he needed, keeping him waiting for knee replacement surgery.

Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) says Congress needs to fix the problem, calling it "outrageous."

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"It is intolerable that veterans have to wait as long as they do," says Israel.

Israel's bill, the “End the VA Claims Backlog Act," is aimed at cutting the wait time for claims from 244 to 125. Israel says if a claim is not processed and resolved after the 125 days, it will be paid for.

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