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ATLANTA (AP) - Georgia veterans filing disability claims often face longer delays than their counterparts in other states.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Atlanta's U.S. Veterans Affairs office has almost 21,000 claims that have been pending for longer than 125. That's the third highest total among 56 veterans benefits offices around the country. Only offices in St. Petersburg, Fla., and Winston-Salem, N.C. have more.

The Atlanta office also has 14,339 appeals pending, which ranks fourth highest in the country.

VA officials note that Atlanta has one of the largest regional offices in the country. The agency estimates that Georgia is home to 776,205 veterans, the eighth largest veteran population of any state.

The agency has announced a goal of eliminating backlogs across the country by 2015.

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