ABSTRACT

COVID-19 Impact on Access to Military Service Records [October 20, 2021]   [open pdf - 514KB]

From the Document: "Servicemembers and other constituents may require access to military service records for many reasons, including providing proof of service to obtain government benefits. During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, many federal agencies moved from on-site work to remote work status for the safety and health of employees. This shift impacted the workflows of the Department of Defense (DOD), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and the National Archives and Records Administration's (NARA's) National Personnel Records Center (NPRC), three agencies involved in processing veterans benefits claims. VA has continued to process benefits claims, albeit at a slower pace and with delays. The NPRC reported that its employees were often unable to retrieve materials due to the vast majority of records being in paper form and requiring in-person access. This challenge led to backlogs in processing various VA claims and also led veterans, Veterans Service Organizations, and many Members of Congress to push for the digitization of military service records. This In Focus provides information on the interaction of DOD, VA, and NPRC on records processing; quantifies the records request backlog and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on request responsiveness; and outlines administrative and legislative efforts to resolve the issue."

Report Number:
CRS In Focus, IF11950
Author:
Publisher:
Date:
2021-10-20
Series:
Copyright:
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/
Format:
pdf
Media Type:
application/pdf
URL:
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