SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Leaders of military veterans groups in South Dakota are worried about a possible slowdown in the processing of benefit claims as backlogged cases from around the country are shifted to the state.

The federal Veterans Affairs department has a nationwide backlog of more than 500,000 claims. To help reduce it, officials have shifted some of the work from overloaded offices to well-performing offices, such as the one in Sioux Falls.

The Argus Leader reports that the Sioux Falls office has been given 2,400 cases from St. Louis, Portland and Phoenix, quadrupling its workload.

South Dakota Veterans of Foreign Wars quartermaster Rick Barg says he worries what effect that might have on claims processing.

Office director James Brubaker says there has been no degradation of service to South Dakota veterans.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.