WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Local veterans fighting a new battle when they return home, trying to get all of the benefits they've earned.
Scott Macfarlane recently reported a crippling backlog of cases facing local servicemen and women.
Weeks later, Washington says it's gonna take new steps to break the logjam.
A veteran walk into a Jacksonville-area VA office and files for benefits.
In many cases, it'll take months to get those claims filled.
The average wait time for vets in florida is now 334 days, according to a study by the Center for Investigative Reporting.
When Action News revealed VA executives were pocketing fat, five-figure bonus checks, despite the backlog, the agency announced it's canceling the bonuses.
Now the agency announces an effort to reduce the waits.
It says it's ordering its claims processing staff be put on overtime pay to more quickly churn through the piles of claims, a backlog which has reached 800,000 nationwide.
Iraq war veteran Pete Hegseth says some troops have long been pushing the VA to take more aggressive steps.
"Why are we not attacking the sources of the delays and the problems? This is a human being who has injuries, came back and wants to be taken care of," Hegseth said.
The agency says it's also adjusting its procedures to "expedite" claims that've been languishing more than a year.
As part of sweeping, nationwide federal budget cuts, the VA won't lose a penny.
no reductions because of so-called "sequestration."