AUSTIN (August 5, 2012)--Central Texas veterans wait on average 139 days longer for a disability claim to be processed than veterans in any other state.
According to the Department of Veteran Affairs' most recent numbers it takes the claims processing center in Waco, which serves Central Texas, an average of 393 days to process a claim.
The Austin-American Statesman reported Sunday that’s 139 days longer than the national average for processing a claim and more than three times as long as it takes at the fastest claims processing center in St. Paul, Minn.
The Austin American-Statesman reported that in the past year, one-fifth of the claims processed here had errors.
After California, Texas has the second-largest population of veterans in the country.
Texas' two claims offices, in Waco and Houston, are among the busiest.
Local officials say they are feeling the pressures of a weak economy, aging veterans, rising numbers of young veterans returning from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and new rules that make it easier to file claims.