Source: United States House of Representatives – Congresswoman Deborah Ross (NC-02)
Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Deborah Ross (NC-02), Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05), and Congressman Warren Davidson (OH-08) led a bipartisan group of lawmakers in requesting that the Biden administration address the growing backlog of veterans’ records requests at the National Personnel Record Center (NPRC). In their letter to President Biden, Office of Personnel Management Director Kiran Ahuja, and Archivist David Ferriero, the lawmakers urged the administration to expeditiously develop a plan to boost capacity at the NPRC and reduce this backlog.
The letter read in part, “Veterans are our nation’s heroes. They deserve gold-standard access to care and benefits. We urgently ask that you take any and all actions to address this growing crisis so that our heroes are not left behind in this already difficult time.”
The NPRC is operating at a 10 percent capacity, resulting in a backlog of more than half a million records requests – predominantly for DD-214 forms – that have been unfulfilled. In December, Congress appropriated $50 million in emergency funding for the National Archives and Record Administration revolving fund. While the NPRC received $15 million of this funding, staffing levels and processing capacity have dropped.
The lawmakers requested clarification on NPRC staffing capacity, projected processing times for DD-214 forms, and how the NPRC is using appropriated funds to address the record backlog. The DD-214 form is a veteran’s primary document used to prove his or her service in the U.S. military and is required to obtain an identification card needed to receive veteran benefits like health and dental care and access to preferential hiring for federal jobs.
In April, Congresswoman Ross led a bipartisan letter signed by 185 Members of Congress urging the NPRC to address the backlog of veteran personnel file requests and requesting that the Biden administration prioritize NPRC employees for vaccinations and testing to improve staffing capacity.
Full text of the letter is available here.