A backlog of hundreds of thousands of requests for veterans records from the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis that was caused by limiting in-person work during the COVID-19 pandemic has finally been cleared, the National Archives announced this week.
“Clearing the backlog of record requests at the National Personnel Records Center has been my top priority, and I am proud that we've gotten this done,” Archivist of the United States Colleen Shogan said in a statement Wednesday. “I want to recognize the hard work and dedication of the National Archives staff. They have worked overtime and across weekends and holidays to achieve this goal and ensure we meet our obligation to those who've served.”
While the National Personnel Records Center, or NPRC, never fully closed down during the pandemic so that it could respond to emergency requests such as for records needed for medical care, it significantly curtailed operations because of building occupancy limits.
Read Next: Yearslong Delay in Covering Transgender Surgeries Prompts Lawsuit Against VA
The staffing reductions led to a backlog that grew to more than 600,000 requests, making life difficult for veterans who needed hard copies of their records for disability claims, proof of veteran status for other benefits, documentation in lawsuits, personal archives and other uses.
Officials were able to eliminate the backlog through a mix of updating technology, adding staff and…