Washington, DC - Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) and 15 of her colleagues signed a letter asking Veterans Administration Secretary Eric Shinseki to include Oakland in the VA regional offices selected for programs designed to cut the backlog of claims filed by veterans. The average wait for a decision in the Oakland office is 313 days and its backlog is the second worst in the nation.

Speier stated, “I’m puzzled by the VA’s decision. If they are rolling out a program they think will help, why not include the office with the second worst backlog in the nation?”

Congresswoman Speier met with the Oakland VA director Douglas Bragg on March 15, 2012 to discuss why the VA was taking so long to help her constituents. The VA announced this past Monday that 12 regional offices were selected for initial programs designed to improve the delivery of claims to veterans - Oakland was left out.

Download the letter here.