The Department of Veterans Affairs and the National Archives and Records Administration are teaming up to digitize millions of military personnel records currently stored in St. Louis warehouses, Federal News Network reported.

VA said the project will help with the backlog of disability cases and make it easier for veterans to get the documents they need for VA benefits. The Veterans Benefits Administration also relies on the documents to process disability claims.

“We are proactively scanning military personnel records so that when future claims come in, we are not waiting for those records,” Ken Smith, deputy assistant secretary for field operations, said. “As a secondary benefit we make all of those digital images available to National Archives to use for their purposes, so when another federal agency or a veteran or a veteran’s family seeks a copy of records, they have access to that and can respond [more quickly].”

Many veterans have had an especially difficult time getting copies of their records during the pandemic.

Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Briana Beavers