VA Testing System to Move Claims Faster

One of Secretary Eric Shinseki's highest priorities has been eliminating a large backlog of disability claims.

With April being marked as Paralyzed Veterans of America Awareness Month, an American Forces Press Service report about a new online system for tracking disability claims at the Department of Veterans Affairs is sure to encourage PVA President Bill Lawson and members of the group. Donna Miles reports Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki believes a new automation tool will allow VA to pare down its large backlog of disability claims. The tool has been in development for two years, Miles reported April 2.

Shinseki told her the goals are to have no claims older than 125 days and every claims decision at a 98 percent quality mark. VA has tested the new Veterans Benefit Management System in Providence, R.I., and Salt Lake City, and Shinseki visited the Salt Lake City location last week to see for himself. "The rollout will begin at 16 regional offices in September, with all 56 VA regional offices to receive it by the end of fiscal 2013," according to her report.

PVA's Lawson visited Capitol Hill last month to lobby members for increased funding. This month is the 66 anniversary of the founding of Paralyzed Veterans of America, and Lawson is traveling across the country to raise awareness and encourage the public to help veterans with disabilities.

Shinseki told Miles the productivity gains should reduce the backlog quickly. VA produced 900,000 claims decisions but received 1 million new claims in 2009; it decided 1 million claims the following year but received 1.2 million new ones, she reported.

"Last year, we produced another 1 million claims decisions and got 1.3 million claims in," Shinseki said. "So the backlog isn't static. The backlog is a bigger number than we would like, but it is not the same number as three years ago. There is a lot on the line here, and that is why this rollout in September is an important one."

Miles' report says VA now gives veterans a checklist to help them compile materials for filing a claim. The department recently released 68 new disability benefits questionnaires to speed the processing of veterans' disability compensation and pension claims.

Download Center

  • EHS Buyer's Guide

    Download this buyer's guide to make more informed decisions as you're looking for an EHS management software system for your organization.

  • Online Safety Training Buyer's Guide

    Use this handy buyer's guide to learn the basics of selecting online safety training and how to use it at your workplace.

  • COVID Return-to-Work Checklist, Fall 2021

    Use this checklist as an aid to help your organization return to work during the COVID-19 pandemic in a safe and healthy manner.

  • SDS Buyer's Guide

    Learn to make informed decisions while searching for SDS Management Software.

  • Risk Matrix Guide

    Risk matrices come in many different shapes and sizes. Understanding the components of a risk matrix will allow you and your organization to manage risk effectively.

  • Industry Safe

Featured Whitepapers

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - September 2021

    September 2021

    Featuring:

    • COMBUSTIBLE DUST
      Managing Combustible Dust and Risk Mitigation
    • PPE: CONSTRUCTION
      The Rising Popularity of Safety Helmets on the Jobsite
    • PPE: ELECTRICAL SAFETY
      Five Tips for a Successful Wear Trial
    • SAFETY & HEALTH
      Medical Surveillance Versus Medical Screening
    View This Issue