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VA stops bonuses for disability claims executives
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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Veterans Affairs Department is withholding bonuses for senior officials who oversee disability claims, citing a failure to meet performance goals for reducing a sizable backlog in claims processing.

The backlog has increased dramatically over the past three years, and the department has come under intense criticism from veterans' groups and members of Congress.

VA spokesman Josh Taylor said Monday that the savings would be used to help reduce the backlog. He could provide no specifics nor say how many people would be affected.

In all, records show the department paid its senior executives a total of $2.8 million in bonuses in fiscal 2011.

During that same year, the number of disability claims pending for longer than 125 days jumped from less than 200,000 to nearly 500,000.