By CHRIS MEGERIAN
WASHINGTON (AP) — Hundreds of thousands of veterans have received additional benefits in the past year after President Joe Biden signed legislation expanding coverage for conditions connected to burn pits that were used to destroy trash and potentially toxic materials. The first anniversary of the law is Thursday, and Biden will mark the occasion at a Veterans Affairs hospital in Salt Lake City. Administration officials are trying to encourage as many people as possible to sign up by Wednesday, which would allow their benefits to be retroactive to when the law was signed. The agency is also trying to hire more people to handle the influx of claims, which is expected to cause larger backlogs over the coming months.