WASHINGTON, DC — U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota, and Bill Cassidy, MD, R-Lousiana have introduced legislation to help speed up processing of veterans’ benefits claims.

Currently it can take weeks or months for congressional constituent service representatives to receive files from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that they requested to help veterans with their claims. The Working to Integrate Networks Guaranteeing Member Access Now (WINGMAN) Act would eliminate the burdensome step of having to use the VA as an intermediary and allow vetted constituent service representatives direct access to these files.

“Veterans shouldn’t have to fight through red tape to get the benefits they have earned,” said Klobuchar. “My bipartisan bill with Senator Cassidy helps knock down bureaucratic barriers by connecting veterans with caseworkers who have the right information so they can get the assistance they need when they need it.”

The WINGMAN Act would allow constituent service representatives the ability to keep veterans better updated on the status of their pending claims, including medical records, compensation, pension, exam records, rating decisions, statement of the case, supplementary statement of the case, notice of disagreement and form-9 files.

This legislation has been endorsed by AMVETS. Bipartisan companion legislation has also been introduced in the House of Representatives.

Klobuchar has worked in a bipartisan manner to modernize G.I. Bill benefits for our troops and to strengthen funding veterans’ health care, including service-related injuries related to Agent Orange exposure. She has also authored bipartisan bills on behalf of our nation’s veterans and their families to expand job training and employment opportunities and to reduce veterans’ homelessness.